Elgin BID Business Awards 2018
Last week we had our Annual General Meeting (AGM) & Annual Business Awards Ceremony. The Business Awards are all about celebrating the local businesses that provide great services to the area. It really means a lot to the businesses to receive nominations in the awards as it shows them how much their customers and clients appreciate the work they do.
The Business Awards were launched on the 14th September in partnership with the Northern Scot. In the first week we had over 200 votes. By the time the voting closed on the 10th October there had been thousands of votes cast for 199 businesses and individuals! We have to count each individual vote for all categories, which takes a while, but it is really heart-warming to see the volume of support for the local businesses.
Our Awards are a little different from many other business awards as it is the public who nominate and vote for the businesses.
There were 9 categories in the awards:
• Finance, Printing, Professional and Service Sectors (Local Businesses)
• Finance, Banking (National Chains)
• Hospitality & Tourism
• Hair, Beauty, Fitness, Dental & Health Care
• Charity, Community, Church Groups, Education, Support Groups and Clubs
• David Urquhart New Business Award
• Long Established Business Award
• Ian Widdowson Individual Customer Service Award
On the night, over 60 people attended the AGM and Awards Ceremony to hear about the work BID has been doing and our plans for 2019 in the AGM and of course to join in the celebrations for the Awards. Between the AGM and Awards Ceremony, we had a networking session where the businesses had a chance to have a chat with their business neighbours. Everyone also enjoyed a glass of wine (or two!) kindly donated by Gordon & MacPhail and delicious canapes that were prepared by the Moray College Catering students- the macarons were definitely the favourite of the night!
The winners and finalists for the awards were:
One of the best parts about the awards is reading all of the wonderful nominations for the Individual customer service award. An independent panel of judges come in and they read through all of the nominations and they choose which nomination is the strongest and shows the best customer service.
This year’s winner was Jackie Burchell from Shoe Zone. Jackie had received numerous nominations highlighting her dedication to customer service. Customers of all ages had commented about how she knew them by name and that she always takes the time to find out how her older customers have been. This is the comment that really stood out to the judges;
“I had gone in to Shoe Zone to buy some new nice shoes for an event that I was going to. I told Jackie how excited I was to go as I don’t often get the chance to get dressed up and go out. Jackie helped me find the perfect pair of shoes. A few months later I was in again with my grandson and Jackie had asked if I had had a good time. This made me feel really special because she had remembered how excited I was after all this time!”
Tom Morris from Moray Music Lessons and Vallen Faulkner from Vallen Fitness Studio were this year’s runners up.
It’s great to see people taking time out of their day to nominate someone that really made a difference to their day. We received dozens of nominations this year, here are some of the comments.
Tom Morris- Moray Music Lessons “For the many extras and all in great humour. Nothing is too much trouble. For instance he hosts student music nights so we can all play together, building performance confidence, and he only asks for a couple of pounds to cover the hire of the venue. After long days at work Tom does several of these every month.”
Vallen Faulkner- Vallen Fitness Studio “This lady organised a free professional photoshoot for all her students to boost their confidence and show them how far they’ve come. She was there the entire day helping everyone and making sure they got the best possible pictures. All for free. All on her day off. It was lovely to see a business owner taking the time to be with her customers and also providing them with an opportunity they wouldn’t usually have. In my opinion that’s above and beyond the customer service expected from a small business.”
Deborah Smethurst- Alluring Boutique “I would like to nominate Deborah Smethurst of Alluring Boutique, as her customer care is second to none, the way Deborah has her Alluring Boutique’s staff trained to look for ways to make the customer experience that bit more enjoyable is commendable. Never the hard sell, just a pleasant atmosphere. I normally visit the store to buy gifts and vouchers for family members, and I am always greeted with a welcoming smile and offered helpful advice, which is especially welcomed by me, as I’m a man with little knowledge of women’s fashion.”
Eileen Weddel- Café Muse “Nothing is too much trouble, always friendly, goes out her way to make everything perfect, goes beyond expectations, goes the extra mile with little touches, very helpful!”
Anne MacLeod- Beaver Travel “Anne is a very helpful person and she makes OAPs feel very welcome, asks how you are, always has time for everyone.”
Kerry Hamilton KLH Beauty Atelier- “Kerry has such a lovely nature & really cares about making sure she provides the best service to her customers. She explains what she is doing as she works. She also provides good after care with leaflets and advice. She obviously takes great personal satisfaction from her job & enjoys what she does & this shows through to her clients.”
The Business Awards are one of our favourite times of the year because it is truly wonderful to see that we are still getting thousands of votes in every year. This shows how much the local people really care about the local businesses and want to show them how much they appreciate them.
The Awards will be back next year so be sure to vote and if you have received customer service that has really made you feel special or you feel is of exceptional standard write it down for next year’s awards!
Thanks for reading!