TRADERS and charities will soon find out whether they have won prestigious awards for their efforts in the community.

The winners of the The Surrey Heath Business Awards 2018 are set to be announced at a business breakfast in Camberley Theatre on Friday, March 9.

The contenders include a Bagshot charity and a Chobham fashion outlet. Sebastian’s Action Trust, in London Road, Bagshot, is up for the Community Action award. The charity was founded in memory of nine-year-old Sebastian Gates, who died from a rare form of cancer in 2003. His family, who are from Ascot, say it was his dying wish to have a holiday home for sick children – something they managed to achieve when they opened the Bluebells facility in 2011.

Meanwhile, women’s fashion store, Betty & Claude, in High Street, Chobham is up for the Kevin Cantlon Award for Best Small/Medium Sized Business. The independent fashion boutique sells ladies’ clothes and was only opened in 2013 by friends, Ros and Sue. But the name for the business was actually taken from their respective dogs, Betty and Claude, as they had been out walking them when they became friends.

The judging panel was made up of Karen Whelan, Surrey Heath Borough Council chief executive, Paul Marcus, M.D. of Eagle Radio, Sarah Croke, owner at Weddings & Events at The Pottery and vice chairman of the Frimley Business Association and Charlie Thompson, The Massage Company founder). The Massage Company were last year’s winners of the Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award.

Ms Whelan said: “Once again we had a very hard day going through all the fantastic Surrey Heath Business Award nominations, to decide on the short list.

“It was so encouraging to see great examples of the brilliant businesses we have in the borough.

“Well done to all who made the short list and thank you to all those companies who applied. I’d also like to thank all the judges for giving up their time. It was great to have Surrey Heath business owners and previous winners of the awards on the panel this year.”

This year sees a new award, The Star of The Year, which has been voted for by the public online. Meanwhile, The Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award is now newly named in honour of Kevin Cantlon, Surrey Heath Borough Council’s economic development officer, who sadly passed away in 2017. There is also an award for Outstanding Achievement.