Winners of Norfolk Business Awards 2021 revealed

Norfolk Business Awards 2021

Tony Abel, speaking at the podium after winning the Outstanding Achievement award - Credit: Matthew Potter

For the first time in years the Norfolk business community has been able to gather together and celebrate their success in person. 

The Norfolk Business Awards saw the best and the brightest of the county's industry flock to the showground on November 25. 

Norfolk Business Awards

The Norfolk Business Awards hosted the brightest industry stars in the county at the Showground - Credit: Matthew Potter

The glittering event saw bosses and staff congratulated on their sheer hard work and determination, which has seen them through some troubling times. 

The business awards, hosted in association with the Eastern Daily Press, saw attendees share a drink and shake hands in person for the first time since 2019 this year. 

Norfolk Business Awards

Richard Porritt, Eastern Daily Press' business editor, speaking at the podium during the Norfolk Business Awards 2021 - Credit: Matthew Potter

Richard Porritt, the Eastern Daily Press' business editor, said: "Two years ago when I last stood on this stage I spoke about the uncertainty of Brexit and urged our politicians to offer more clarity and guidance. Little did I or any of us know the catastrophe looming just around the corner.

"When the shutter finally came down we had no way of knowing when life would return to normal – and let’s be honest, it still hasn’t.

Norfolk Business Awards 2021

Richard Porritt, business editor at the Eastern Daily Press praised Norfolk's businesses for their response during the pandemic - Credit: Matthew Potter

"But n​​​​​o-one gave up. No-one sat back and hoped for the best. You all came out fighting. You all put in a shift. You should be so proud. Not only did you survive – you thrived. And now you are all the stronger for it."

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The event, which was headline sponsored by Barclays, also saw the founder of a Norfolk housebuilding business handed the Outstanding Achievement award. 

Norfolk Business Awards

Tony Abel, chairman of Abel Homes, receiving the Outstanding Achievement award - Credit: Matthew Potter

Tony Abel, chairman of Abel Homes, said he was “delighted” to win. 

He added: “If my father could see me win this award I think he would be so proud. I left school at 15 – I’ve never taken an exam.

“This all began when my wife Maggie and I drove past a few homes which hadn’t been finished and we thought ‘Why not?’

“Then we did a few in Hingham – my wife sketched the houses and I drove the JCB. I never dreamed we’d end up here.”  

The judges said: “A leading figure in the business community for over 30 years, Tony and the business has been ahead of curve with his team leading the construction of low energy efficient homes."

Norfolk Business Awards 2021

Guests mingle at the Norfolk Business Awards 2021 - Credit: Matthew Potter

The winners of the Norfolk Business Awards 2021 are: 

Business of the Year: Cornwall Insight

Business Person of the Year: Sarah Mintey MBE

Changing Lives Special Recognition Award: Yellow Brick Mortgages

Customer Excellence Award: R13 Recruitment

Disruptor of the Year: Iceni Diagnostics

Education in Business Award: Developing Experts

Employer of the Year: Cornwall Insight

Green Business of the Year: Shred Station

Marketing Innovation Award: PlantGrow

Scale-Up Business of the Year: e-Pharmacy

SME of the Year: Abel Homes

Start-Up Business of the Year: Abode Construction

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