Borderers play judge to name region’s best firms at awards

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A host of Borders businesses are celebrating having retained or won accolades at this year’s Borders Business Retail Awards.

More than 30 different firms picked up awards at the annual ceremony, held at the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel near Peebles.

And among them were a handful of firms proving unbeatable in their field for a second time.

Kelso’s Bridal Reflections retained the best bridal boutique title, with owner Carol Donald saying: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have won this two years in a row. A massive thank-you to everyone for supporting and loving us.”

Fellow Kelso businesswoman Tara Gray’s photography firm was named best professional service provider for the second year running, and Jedburgh’s AJ Learmonth Butcher’s retained the title of best butcher.

Allan Learmonth said: “We are absolutely delighted to have retained the title. We take great pride in our shop, and I am pleased that all our hard work has paid off.”

The success didn’t stop there for the town either, with Stems of Jedburgh, named the town’s best business last year, picking up the best florist’s accolade.

Owner Sarah Cross said: “We are over the moon. Winning these awards is testimony to the hard work and dedication we all put in.”

Just along the road, Peter Hogg’s of Jedburgh was voted the region’s best bus firm.

Driver Lewis Williamson added: “We were so pleased to be nominated for such an award for the first time. To win it is a dream for us.

“A huge thank-you to the great team we have at Hoggs.

“We are more than a team – we’re a family.

“Our thanks too to everyone who voted for us. You have no idea how much this means to us.

“We are a small family business started by the late Peter Hogg senior, and so much hard work was put in by him and the late Peter Hogg junior to build the company up. Both would be so proud.”

Also picking up a prize, after just 18 months in business, was Galashiels barber Louis Lids.

Owners Louis Carmichael and Kendall Crawford said: “Thank-you so much to everyone who voted us best barber. We’re over the moon.

“We can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the support we get from all our customers, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Fellow first-time award finalist Bexleigh Beauty, of Melrose, is celebrating being named best new business.

Owner Becky Leigh said: “I can’t thank you all enough for your support.

“To even be nominated within six months of opening my salon was amazing, but to take home this award means the absolute world.”

Other award winners include Kelso’s Tweed Podiatry for health and wellbing business, Hownam’s Beirhope Alpacas, which took home the consumer award, Earlston’s Massage by Fiona, named best clinical therapist and Galashiels firms Image 22 and Winter Spring Summer and Fall, named best hairstylist and best gift shop respectively.

Family-run businesses Chrysties Furnishing Centre, Hawick and the Pavilion Cinema in Galashiels took home the specialised retailer and community awards.

Borders winners will now go up against regional counterparts at Scotland’s Business Awards final, to be held in May next year.