by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Five out of nine firms from across southern England that have won chamber of commerce awards are based in the county.
Underlining that Kent and Medway are good for business, the five have scooped top prizes in the British Chambers of Commerce awards.
The Ashford area did well, with three of the five winners based in or near the town.
Jacksons Fencing, the 65-year old company based at Stowting Common, near Ashford, was named Business of the Year.
Quorum Technologies, based at Eden Business Centre, Ashford, won the Achievement in International Business accolade; while MPR IT, a computer company in Ashford, won the Commitment to People Development accolade.
Minimise, the 2011 Medway Business of the Year that has just won a multi-million pound roof lighting contract with a national retailer, was the Most Promising New Business; while Nova IT Solutions, with offices in Maidstone and Canterbury, was singled out for its Excellence in Customer Service.
Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce – all the winners are members – said: “It’s fantastic that five of the nine regional winners come from Kent. It just goes to show what an entrepreneurial business community we have in our county.”
At a presentation in County Hall, Maidstone, Mark Dance, Kent County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “These amazing achievements show that Kent is open for business.
“We are very proud of our chambers of commerce, which are doing a good job for the people of Kent. To get five of the nine regional winners is excellent.”
The five businesses go forward to the national competition at London’s Guildhall on November 29.