'You made it through the perfect storm.' Council chief praises West Norfolk firms' 'resilience' at Mayor's Business Awards celebration
West Norfolk's businesses have been praised for their "resilience" as the brightest and best of them were recognised last night.
Hundreds of guests attended the Mayor's Business Awards, hosted in association with the Lynn News, at Lynn's Corn Exchange, two years on from the last ceremony held shortly before the first Covid lockdown.
And West Norfolk Council deputy leader Graham Middleton said the pandemic, together with Brexit and rising costs, had created a "perfect storm" for companies.
But he told guests firms had used that as an opportunity to change and to grow.
He went on: "What we are seeing is a story of resilience. A story in which you have risen to the challenges and found ways to overcome them, to turn these threats into opportunities.
"Businesses across the borough are generally performing well. Bookings for accommodation for the summer are looking positive.
"Attractions are reporting visitor numbers that are above pre-pandemic levels.
"Retailers have adapted and are delivering new services and products and our manufacturing services are reporting that they are busy."
Mr Middleton said it was not a time for complacency as he reflected on the uncertainties created by the war in Ukraine.
He said the area stands with the Ukrainian people, as the colours of their national flag were again projected onto the front of the venue.
Ahead of the ceremony, council leaders announced that the blue and yellow of Ukraine's flag would continue to be projected onto prominent public buildings until further notice.
But he added: "Seeing the way in which you have responded over the last two years gives me confidence that you will continue to rise to the challenges."
Mr Middleton announced the forthcoming launch of a summer events programme across Lynn, Downham and Hunstanton, and highlighted the opportunities officials believe projects set to be funded by the £25 million Town Deal investment into Lynn will create.
He concluded: "With new investment coming into West Norfolk, and a base of strong innovative local businesses, I think we have every reason to be cautiously optimistic about West Norfolk's economic future."
The winners in each of the award categories were as follows:
Mayor’s Business of the Year, sponsored by West Norfolk Council: Jordan Fitness Ltd.
Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Mapus-Smith Lemmon LLP: Prontaprint King’s Lynn.
Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Brown & Co: Michael Baldwin (Bank House).
Business Innovation, sponsored by MCP Solicitors: GH Hair Design.
Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Georgia Mountain (GH Hair Design).
Customer Care: West Norfolk Deaf Association.
Independent Retailer, sponsored by The Bank House: Donaldson Fishmongers.
Leisure and Tourism, sponsored by Complete Commercial Finance: WhataHoot.
Employee of the Year, sponsored by MARS: Kelly Melerski (Achieve Together).
King’s Lynn Champion, sponsored by Discover King’s Lynn: Duke’s Head Hotel.
Environmental Champion: Tamar Nurseries Ltd.