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Londoners Choose Their Favourite Small Businesses at the Inaugural Dot London Awards

Twelve London-based businesses were crowned the best in the capital last night at the inaugural Dot London Small Business Awards 2015, with winners including a vegan bakery, a pop-up cocktail den and a not-for-profit members club.

The awards were created by Dot London, the capital’s unique domain name, to celebrate the success of London’s most outstanding small businesses. The nominees were narrowed down by a distinguished panel of judges that included some of London’s most successful businesses, such as LEON, Brompton Bikes and Made.com. The winners of the 12 categories were then decided via public vote through www.awards.london.

Winners were made up of a wide-mix of new and well-established businesses that span across the whole of London. Kricket, an Indian restaurant based in Brixton’s new community campus, Pop Brixton, won the Best Place to Eat award; The House of St Barnabas, Soho’s 150-year-old progressive charity and not-for-profit members club, took the Social Enterprise of the Year Award; and Yasmine Creations, based in Woodford, won the Best Health, Beauty and Cosmetics Provider award.

Sarah Willingham, BBC Dragon and Head Judge of the Dot London Small Business Awards, commented: “Everywhere around London there’s a richness of enthusiasm coming from small businesses who are working hard to give their customers something different. That ingenuity and drive was what we were looking for from our finalists, and we were given it in spades.”

Highlighting London’s business and lifestyle landscapes was one of the major criterions for the finalists, and each winner was able to achieve that goal in their own unique way. Blogger of the Year, Look Up London, shares the incredible architectural details around London that people miss by not looking up, while Best New Business winner, Wonderush, is a subscription-run company that provides members with monthly unique London experiences for a set fee.

Other winners from the night included Little Nan’s, a quirky pop-up cocktail bar designed to look like the owner’s grandmother’s sitting room, who won Best Place to Drink; We Built This City, an artist-led London souvenir shop with a difference, won the Best Independent Lifestyle Retailer award; and ArtsDepot, a multi-genre arts centre in Barnet, won Independent Cultural Venue of the Year.

Brixton’s Ms. Cupcake, London’s first entirely vegan bakery, won the Best Independent Groceries Retailer award, and Greenwich-based illustrator and creative director, Ben Tallon Creative Studio, picked up the Creative Agency of the Year award.

Emma Hitzelberger, co-founder of Yogarise, Peckham-based independent yoga studio and winner of the Dot Londoner of the Year award, said: “It’s amazing to be recognised by Londoners, but specifically by the people of Peckham, our home, which has such a wonderful sense of community”. Co-founder Sean Hitzelberger added: “We’d like to use the Dot London prize money to re-vamp our website. We’re really not digital experts so this, and having the sponsors mentoring, will be an invaluable boost to our business.”

Dan Hill, Head of Dot London, said: “London has a wealth of talent and we are proud to be supporting the capital’s thriving small business community through the Awards. Since we launched we have seen a number of small businesses choose to use a Dot London web address, from wearable tech company, Doppel, to organic skincare brand, MOA, and co-working space Net.Works. It’s brilliant to see such a wide variety of small businesses using a Dot London domain name, thereby highlighting their association with the global London brand.”

Presenter, and BBC Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Katie Derham, hosted the ceremony at the newly refurbished IET London on Savoy Place, which was attended by special guests, including the Deputy Mayor of London, Roger Evans.

Each winner will receive £1000, one-to-one mentoring on how to improve their online business presence from sponsors including 123-Reg, GoDaddy, Heart Internet and UK2, and a free Dot London domain name for a year. Winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, Julian Baladurage, won an additional prize of a year-long membership to the Federation of Small Businesses.

For more information about the winners and finalists visit www.awards.london. Click here to watch our video about the awards.

 

Full List of Winners at the Dot London Small Business Awards 2015 are: