IN PICTURES: Newmarket Business Awards

THE annual Newmarket Business Association Awards are designed to highlight and celebrate the wealth and diversity of business expertise in Newmarket and reward the achievements of some of the area's leading businessmen and women.

The awards for 2009 were presented at a glittering ceremony at Newmarket's Rowley Mile racecourse last month. Here are the winners and what the judges said about them.

Community Engagement Award, sponsored by Business in the Community – winner: Bordaline Web Design.

"The judges recognised the fact that this business invests an enormous amount of time working voluntarily with local organisations to the benefit of the local community. The judges were impressed with the number of community groups that have benefited."

Retailer of the Year, sponsored by The Newmarket Journal – winner: Coffee & Co, Newmarket.

"This business has done well to maintain a strong business despite a major competitor – a well-known high street brand – establishing itself in the town. It is continually evolving and has engaged well with the town and its customers, creating a real sense of community."

Employee Development Award, sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce – winner: The Olde Bull Inn, Barton Mills.

"This company recognises its staff's role in the success of the business and goes the extra mile to support its staff. A family spirit and commitment to staff development is demonstrated by its popularity as an employer."

Innovative Use of Technology, sponsored by Newmarket Business Association – winner: The Johns Practice.

"This business has invested a great deal in technology to achieve a number of benefits. In particular, the main beneficiaries have been its clients who can track their projects.

"This has also benefited the environment as a result of operating a paperless office and having a fabulous green, eco-friendly building."

New Business of the Year, sponsored by Forest Heath District Council – winner: Showhouse Furniture Ltd.

"The judges thought that the owners of this business have built an impressive foundation upon which to grow. From a standing start this company has achieved dramatic business success in its first year. It now retails locally as well as nationally via its website."

Marketing Initiative of the Year Award, sponsored by West Suffolk College – winner: The Johns Practice.

"The winning company has invested time in significant development of its website resulting in increased sales enquiries and quantifiable additional sales.

"Complementary to this initiative is its decision to make use of social media techniques such as Twitter and it has produced its own blog which has opened up new client bases to them."

Customer Focus Award, sponsored by Newmarket Racecourses – winner: Blue Donkey Ltd.

"The judges recognised that customer service is a major part of this company's business model. Its strong commitment and ongoing monitoring of customer satisfaction results in an impressive 80% of new business coming from customer referrals."

Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Factotum Ltd – winner: Convergence Communications.

"This company was strong across all categories. It has demonstrated good all-round growth in a very tough climate. The presentation of its entry was also first class."

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, sponsored by Barclays – winner: Nestor UK Ltd.

"This company has bucked the trend by moving manufacturing to the UK from overseas. It has invested heavily in a state-of-the-art facility in the local area."

Large Business of the Year, sponsored by NatWest – winner: Atkinson Bolton Consulting Ltd.

"This company has maintained a strong performance throughout a difficult financial climate in a difficult market. The corporate vision is clear and refreshing and it services its clients, many of whom are large corporates, in a way that other companies are not able to match.

"It is a Newmarket business that excels in the national arena."

Highly Commended, sponsored by: MENTA & Newmarket Town Council – winners: Lettergold Plastics Ltd and Newmarket Day Centre.

"The winners of the Highly Commended certificates were strong contenders in their categories.

"Unfortunately, there can only be one winner in each category but the judges wanted to make special mention of these entrants in recognition of their achievements."

Business Personality of the Year, sponsored by: Kings (UK) Ltd – winner: Sureya Landini.

"The winner of the Business Personality of the Year is a person who has motivated their staff and led their business to return a profit again this year despite a difficult financial climate.

"They have, at the same time, started to change the public perception of their industry."

Judges' Award, sponsored by Price Bailey Chartered Accountants – winner: Atkinson Bolton Consulting Ltd.

"Throughout the course of the judging day the panel kept coming back to this outstanding entry.

"A dynamic approach to its business combined with terrific engagement – both with its staff, local businesses and the wider community. This company displays the X-factor."