St Lucia Chamber of Commerce rolled out the red carpet in a big way at Sandals Grande over the weekend, on Saturday, January 26 to be precise, for the staging of the St Lucia Business Awards.
The occasion’s purpose was to celebrate excellence in the business community and for those who were unable to attend, the gala event was aired live on Choice TV and the WAVE!
From the welcome reception it was off to the cocktail reception, then onto the William Jefferson Ballroom to be seated for the grand event. Judges noted a significant increase in submissions this year, as compared to previous years but managed for the most part to narrow all categories down to the top three.
Bay Gardens copped the Marketing Excellence award, up against Cable & Wireless and Windward & Leeward Brewery, while Bank of Saint Lucia was Exporter of the Year (nominees included Accela Marketing and First Citizens Investment Services).
Nominees considered for the Green Award included last year’s winner of the award Windward and Leeward Brewery and Cartridge World. The award went to the latter, an establishment notably ran by just three individuals according to company representatives at the event.
Idea of the Year went to 123 Digital with their new Dazzle Magazine that highlights up and coming business people on island. The award for Service Excellence went to First Citizens Investment Services competing against Admac Ltd and 1st National Bank.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year award went to a young man who is certainly making his presence felt on island, particularly with Blue Print Construction Ltd of which he serves as Managing Director.
When asked how it felt to be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year Kurt Elibox responded: “It feels very good! Honestly, it just goes to show that my hard work and all the hard work I put into all my business ventures wasn’t in vain. Hard work pay off and this is very rewarding, very motivating, makes me want to do more and push myself to the limit even more.
“It’s not every day you see a 25-year-old businessman standing on such a prestigious platform, so that in itself was amazing. To be receiving such an award at such an early stage in my life was a milestone.”
A few of the young businessman’s endeavors include New Generation Entertainment and Ecoscates Landscaping Company. Nominees in the Young Entrepreneur category included Outsource St Lucia and 123 Digital.
Representatives from Baron Foods, The Cell and True Value were all considered for Entrepreneur of the Year. At the end of it all The Cell’s Jermille Daniel walked away victorious.
The award for Excellence in Human Resource Development went to Sandals Resorts International, up against 1st National Bank and SOL EC. The Cooperative Leadership award went to Karib Cable’s Joya Martin who upon receiving the award said it was the “mission of the company to be the most loved telecommunications company in St Lucia.” Moments later it was announced that the Business of the Year award would go to none other than Karib Cable!
The award for Corporate Social Responsibility went to 1st National Bank, up against CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and International American University-College of Medicine.
Nominees in the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation category included Regional Communications Ltd, Outsource St Lucia Inc and Baron Foods. The coveted award went to Regional Communications!