The borough’s best companies and not-for-profit organisations were celebrated at the Richmond Business Awards tonight.

Launched by the Richmond and Twickenham Times and The Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce, the event marked the growth and achievements of the area’s most successful companies during the past year.

At a ceremony held at Hampton Court Palace tonight, 11 awards were handed out across a broad spectrum of categories.

Anne Newton, CEO of Richmond Chamber of Commerce, said: “The range and quality of the entries we received are proof of the wealth of entrepreneurial spirit, talent and innovative thinking which exist locally across a wide range of sectors; Richmond is truly rich with business expertise.

“It is clear to us that our businesses and not for profits make a significant and varied contribution toward our community and environment and as such are key to making this a uniquely special place in which to live and work. Some of our entrants have been featured in the Sunday Times 100 lists and as such are world class.

“Many of our winning businesses were set-up locally and have since grown to become significant employers in their own right. Others are still in their infancy and have the vision to grow and become a force in our economy, whether the businesses are long established or relatively new, they all demonstrate terrific passion, energy and commitment.”

Here is a list of winners (with judges' comments) along with the businesses which were highly commended and commended.:

Best Professional Practice

Winner: Cherry Woods

Cherry Woods is clearly an extremely skilled professional in skincare who has built her business based on word of mouth achieved through high levels of client satisfaction and service. The testimonials on her website were particularly impressive and she has an exceptional reputation not only within the borough but also throughout her industry as an expert in her field.

Highly commended: Super Structures Associates Limited

Commended: Chase Buchanan

Best New Start up

Winner: Sarah May Jewellery

Sarah May demonstrated the ability to draw in talented resources to deliver her retail vision proving that teamwork is a key ingredient for success. Sarah’s desire to expand at a time the high street was at its lowest shows true entrepreneurial spirit. Add to this a passion to succeed and persistence in the face of many challenges all contributed to the judge’s decision.

Highly commended: Knot Coffee & Pretzel

Commended: Little Star Writing

Best Retail Business in the Community

Winner: Real Ale Ltd

Great example of a local business establishing a solid and consistent brand. Good evidence of developing its employees and a strong and demonstrable community spirit.

Highly commended: Mrs Moon

Commended: Oliver’s Wholefood Store

Best Business for Innovation & Technology

Winner: Blue Fish Retail

A nice use of everyday IT equipment that small and local businesses can really make use of to manage their businesses – loved it.

Highly commended: Lagoni

Commended: Lightning Apps

Best Customer Service

Winner: Parker Cars

Parker Cars achieve an excellent level of service by investing in their people as well as technology to ensure continuous improvements. They provide a personalised service of the highest quality to their entire customer base, whether corporate clients or individuals.

Highly commended: The Bingham

Commended: St Mary’s College

Best Training & Development

Winner: Richmond Adult Community College

RACC is a community that is passionate about the benefits of adult learning and understands that its staff as adults have the same learning needs as its customers, and need the same support to overcome potential barriers to learning caused by disability, lack of confidence and time constraints.

Highly commended: Rowberry Morris

Commended: Hawk Training

Best Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility

Winner: Richmond Theatre

Richmond Theatre demonstrated outstanding corporate social responsibility in all areas of its business and to all stakeholders. Its community values are enshrined in all aspects of the business which, along with its “Always think Green” policy and the initiatives leading from it, made it a clear winner. “The Green Theatre on the Green” scored a 9/10 in nearly every assessment area.

Highly commended: The Forge Clinic

Commended: Chase Buchanan

Best Charity or Not For Profit

Winner: For Sanity’s Sake

For Sanity’s Sake wins this category as a local social enterprise having come up with a very original idea which addresses a need that had not necessarily been recognised before and that the founder has experienced herself. They have built good local links and communications and encourage lots of user involvement to continually improve the service. For Sanity’s Sake demonstrate that they are sustainable and growing and are using their website to attract income.

The judges were impressed to see that For Sanity’s Sake has kept their focus on Richmond and not diluted their impact by growing too quickly. It is great to see For Sanity’s Sake win the award this year after being shortlisted at the inaugural awards in 2011.

Highly commended: Richmond Citizens Advice Bureau

Commended: BeSpoke BeHeard

Best Website

Winner: Accounts Resource

A really impressive all-round entry which answered all of the criteria and gave clear evidence of how they had used their website to grow their business and connect with their customers. Their disciplined approach shows that you do not have to have a huge budget to build and maintain a website that can enhance your company.

Highly commended: Lens Locker

Commended: Worldstores

People’s Choice Award

Winner: Stamptastic

Best Business

Winner: Prosell

With almost 30 years of success in the international training and development business Prosell ticks all the boxes for being awarded the Richmond Business Awards Best Business 2013.

Highly commended: Union Street Technologies (UST)

Commended: Worldstores

See the Richmond Business Awards website for more.

To see the full gallery of photos from the night visit: