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Friday, July 19, 2024


Twelve Fylde Coast businesses are celebrating today, after making it as finalists of the Enterprise Vision Awards 2021 (EVAS2021).

The EVAS2021, the largest awards dedicated to female entrepreneurs outside London, recognises women in business from across the North West. The twelve, members of the Pink Link Ladies networking group, cover a wide range of categories:

Businesswoman of the Year award – Gemma Walker – Helispeed
Employee of the Year – Isabel Wilkie, The Lingerie Lounge
Solo Business award – Lynne Webster – Bamboo Baby and Beyond
Internet Industry award – Mary Speakman – Code Galaxy
Training & Coaching award – Wendy Mahoney – Fylde Tuition Centre
New Business of the Year award – Jane Charnley – A Toast in the Post
Professional Services award – Mandy Crossley – MC Accounting & Business Solutions
Retail Business award – Sara Dewhurst – Lytham Gin
Customer Service award – Trilby Beetham – Trilby The Celebrant
Beauty Industry award – Bella Kowalska – The Nail Bus
Customer Service award – Louise O’Toole – James Carter Homes
Customer Service award – Rachel Grounds – Sassy Chic

The pandemic has significantly shifted the small business landscape, as Mary Speakman of digital agency Code Galaxy knows only too well. “At the start of the lockdown our company and our customers were struggling, budgets disappeared, events cancelled, staff furloughed, home-schooling.

“But consumer behaviour was changing, and we found that many businesses realised that they needed to take the opportunity to transform their online presence, quickly and effectively. We have been part of some great business success stories in the past 12 months, so to be an EVA Internet Industry finalist is a great end to a very difficult year, not only for ourselves but for all our customers.”

For Jane Charnley of ‘A Toast in the Post’ it’s been a whirlwind six months. Hoping to add an EVA to the businesses already growing trophy cabinet she said: “We’ve gone from running an exhibition and wedding business for more than two decades, to setting up an e-commerce website in the few months. But we are so pleased we took the plunge and turned the pandemic into something more positive. Being an EVA finalist is the icing on the cake.”

Rachel Grounds of Sassy Chic always puts her customers first. “To make sure I could connect with my loyal customers during lockdown I took to social media to provide weekly Facebook lives, showcasing the latest fashion accessories. To be an EVA finalist is amazing and I want to thank all my customers who have helped me get where I am today.”

Mandy Crossley, MC Accounting said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded EVAS2021 finalists. Fylde Coast businesses, like other areas of the country, have faced many challenges during the lockdown. But we have battled the storm to come through stronger than ever. To be finalists is fantastic but after such a tough time it’s wonderful that all the hard-working businesses and their staff have been recognised. We can’t wait to see what happens next.”

The award ceremony will be held on Friday the 24th September, at the Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.



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