Kent Excellence in Business Awards 2021: Full list of this year's KEiBA winners


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The winners of this year's Kent Excellence in Business Awards – better known as KEiBA – have been revealed.

The annual event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic but has returned for 2021, with 13 winners crowned victors in fiercely fought categories.

For the full details on the winning firms, pick up your local KM newspaper this week
For the full details on the winning firms, pick up your local KM newspaper this week

A new category, Outstanding Covid Response, recognised how companies responded to the health crisis.

Returning for its 12th year, the awards are organised by the KM Media Group, publisher of KentOnline, and Kent County Council.

Winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Business in Kent this year was Bill Ferris who spearheaded the revival of the Historic Dockyard Chatham before retiring last year.

He said of the award: "It genuinely took my breath away as I wasn’t expecting it."

Other winners of Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA) 2021 are:

Bill Ferris, the former chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard, receiving his award
Bill Ferris, the former chief executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard, receiving his award

Commitment to the Community

Winner: East Kent Foot Care

Finalists: BSL Community, FAR Skate Foundation

Sponsored by: Golding Homes

East Kent Foot Care
East Kent Foot Care

Commitment to the Environment

Winner: Frasers

Finalists: Maidstone Distillery, Sleeping Giant Media

Sponsored by: KCC Low Carbon Kent/Bouygues Energies & Services

Adam and Lisa-Jane Fraser - proprietors of Frasers
Adam and Lisa-Jane Fraser - proprietors of Frasers

Employer of the Year

Winner: Modus Construction Consultants

Finalists: HR Go, Reflect Digital

Sponsored by: DWA

Modus Construction Consultants triumphed in the Employer of the Year category
Modus Construction Consultants triumphed in the Employer of the Year category

Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Hectic Lifestyles (trading as NutraDirect)

Finalists: Sharp Relations, Reflect Digital

Sponsored by: Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce/Creaseys

Bal Sandher has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for his work at Hectic Lifestyles, trading as NutraDirect
Bal Sandher has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for his work at Hectic Lifestyles, trading as NutraDirect

Family Business of the Year

Winner: Team HARD Racing

Finalists: Viking Martime Group, Shepherd Neame, GSE Group

Sponsored by: Gallagher

Tony and Sam of Team HARD Racing
Tony and Sam of Team HARD Racing

Large Business of the Year

Winner: Chartway Group

Finalists: Bigjigs Toys, ITL Group

Sponsored by: Pillory Barn

Ian Savage, boss of Chartway Group
Ian Savage, boss of Chartway Group

Manufacturer of the Year

Winner: Hectic Lifestyles

Finalists: Circatron, Total Machining Solutions

Sponsored by: University of Greenwich/Locate in Kent

Hectic Lifestyles was crowned Manufacturer of the Year
Hectic Lifestyles was crowned Manufacturer of the Year

Medium Business of the Year

Winner: Global Associates

Finalists: Hathats Coffe Company, Advance FM

Sponsored by: Kreston Reeves

Global Associates was named Medium Business of the Year
Global Associates was named Medium Business of the Year

Outstanding Covid Response

Winner: Shepherd Neame

Finalists: Curd & Cure, BSL Community, BIS Services

Sponsored by: KM Media Group/Kent County Council

Shepherd Neame won the Outstanding Covid Response award
Shepherd Neame won the Outstanding Covid Response award

Small Business of the Year

Winner: Kesson Physiotherapy

Finalists: Convert Energy, Dunk Cookies, Snowy's Canine Therapy Centre

Sponsored by: Kent Further Education

Kesson Physiotherapy proved a hit with the judges
Kesson Physiotherapy proved a hit with the judges

Success in International Trade

Winner: Bigjigs Toys

Finalists: Hornby Hobbies, Viking Maritime Group

Sponsored by: Crowe

Bigjigs triumphed for its successful work in international trade
Bigjigs triumphed for its successful work in international trade

Technology Business of the Year

Winner: eXroid Technology

Finalists: ITL Group, Bedfont Scientific

Sponsored by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish/University of Kent

eXroid Technology's device is bringing relief to many
eXroid Technology's device is bringing relief to many

Valuing Disability of the Year

Winner: Caremark Thanet

Finalists: Dovetail Games, Kent Community Health NHS Trust

Sponsored by: bemix/The Education People

Caremark Thanet won the Valuing Disability award
Caremark Thanet won the Valuing Disability award

Full details for all the winners including just why they won the awards can be found in a special pull-out supplement running in our newspapers – on sale this week.

Geoff Miles, chairman of judges added: "These awards have always recognised adaptability and resourcefulness, and that has perhaps never been so called upon as it has in the wake of the pandemic.

"KEiBA is traditionally one of the biggest award events in the South East and winning one of these awards can deliver real benefits, both to increased custom and for staff morale.

Left, Bill Ferris receives his Outstanding Contribution to Business in Kent award from KCC's Derek Murphy
Left, Bill Ferris receives his Outstanding Contribution to Business in Kent award from KCC's Derek Murphy

"The judging process is, as always, thorough and so all those who made the shortlist for these keenly contested categories have demonstrated an excellence which impressed us all."

KCC’s cabinet member for economic development, Cllr Derek Murphy, added: "The challenges of the last 18 months have revealed just how flexible and resilient so many of the county's businesses are.

"They have been forced to think on their feet and in many cases pivot their offering in order to not only just survive but thrive.

"They provide the economic backbone of Kent and not only are we proud to recognise their achievements, but extend huge congratulations to all of those firms, big and small, which have come through this unique period in our history.

"The KEiBAs are something we are immensely proud to support and we raise a glass to all the winners and shortlisted entries for going above and beyond."

The gala awards night did not take place this year due to the pandemic
The gala awards night did not take place this year due to the pandemic

The normal gala awards night this year did not take place due to the pandemic.

Take a look at all this year's winners in more detail here

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