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Entries have already started coming in for the Dartford and Gravesham Business Awards.
Here is one of the contenders...
Set in idyllic Higham countryside, the Little Hermitage is a popular, family-run wedding and party venue.
Established 11 years ago, it is now run by a mother-and-daughter team who took over after the founder’s death two years ago.
Originally it had been a fight through the courts to change the building’s use from a home to business premises.
The family spent all their money building from scratch to get the Grade II listed building back to its original glory and then to extend it and come up with the wedding idea.
“This coming year we are to refurbish and get all the rooms, building and ground looking immaculate..." - Little Hermitage's Careece Squires
Operating with 17 loyal staff, the business has been fully restructured and uses local suppliers wherever possible.
Based in the heart of Dickens country, there is a romantic edge to the venue, borne out by endless testimonials.
Comments include “being treated like a king and queen”, and “somewhere over the rainbow all our dreams come true”.
Other parties have included milestone birthday events, and a number of celebrities have used it.
Owner’s daughter and bookkeeper Careece Squires said: “This coming year we are to refurbish and get all the rooms, building and ground looking immaculate.
“We hope to increase our weddings and take on more staff – generally grow.
“We sponsor our local rugby team and mum helps at Higham Help the Aged. We host an afternoon tea for them at no cost.”
The Dartford and Gravesham Business Awards are supported by the Messenger. Each entrant gets a free prolile in this newspaper and online.
Award sponsors are: Dartford council, Gravesham council, Barnes Roffe, Kent Business School (University of Kent), KM Media Group (Dartford Messenger and Gravesend Messenger), Lloyds Bank, Thomson Snell and Passmore, and the University of Greenwich.
Entrants must have their main place of business in the Dartford or Gravesham council areas and have been trading for at least a year on the date of entry.
Entry deadline: July 31, 2014.
Visit www.dgbawards.co.uk for an entry form.
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