A glittering event at the Riverbank Plaza Hotel on central London's Albert Embankment on Thursday 4th July feted the winners of the fifth annual South London Business Awards, organised by Prospects Business Support (formerly South London Business).
Some 350 guests were on the edge of their seats for the award announcements - made in traditional reverse order - by host, BBC Radio presenter James Cannon.
Sir Bob Scott, chairman of South London Business Council, said, "The winners tonight represent a massive part of the South London and British economy which, despite two and a half dips, is continuing to generate prosperity."
The biggest cheer went up for the announcement of Business of the Year, an award sponsored by Prospects Services and chosen by the judging panel from among the winners of the other 11 categories. The coveted award went to Penta Consulting of Wallington in the London Borough of Sutton. The company delivers recruitment strategies for IT and telecommunications clients.
Paul Clark, CEO of Penta Consulting, which also won the Commitment to the Community Award, said their 90 staff are given autonomy and "everyone in the company is contributing to the business every day." He added, "I don't know what else to say. I'm so shocked to receive these awards!"
The awards recognised large and small businesses from all 12 South London boroughs.
Cath Harrop, founder of Mum2Mum Market, told the audience that the enterprise, which organises indoor markets of nearly-new baby and children's goods where mums sell to mums, only started two years ago. The firm, based in Merton, now has 16 franchises around the country with ten more due to start later this year. "This has been an amazing journey over the last two years," she said, accepting her award.
Paul Bates, MD of Cleankill Environmental Services of Croydon, pest control specialists, won the Best Green Business Award, and said, "To think that a firm in our sort of business can be recognised in this way, I'm absolutely stunned."
The full list of category winners and images of them can be found at http://slbawards.co.uk/2013winners