Small Business of the Year, sponsored by the Huntingdonshire branch of the FSB
Small companies, of which there are several thousand across Huntingdonshire, are responsible for 90 per cent of the district s employment. So there is keen competition to win this award as a springboard to becoming larger and more successful. This year s
Small companies, of which there are several thousand across Huntingdonshire, are responsible for 90 per cent of the district's employment. So there is keen competition to win this award as a springboard to becoming larger and more successful.
This year's finalists are an appliance-testing and certification company from Perry, an Eaton Socon godsend to women with small feet, and a spectacularly successful nail studio in St Ives.
Cambs-PAT (UK) Limited was founded in 2004 to provide legally-required portable appliance health and safety testing, and has increased turnover six-fold in that time - as well as being short-listed for The Hunts Post Business Awards in 2005 and 2006. It now employs seven full-time staff and four part-timers and subcontracts other work to two local companies. The company has also diversified into villa rentals in Florida.
Frustration with traipsing around major shopping centres and failing to find shoes small enough to fit led Sue Martin-Loat to realise she was not the only woman being let down by big retailers. So she formed her online Small Measures business two years ago and now turns over £100,000 a year by specialising in sizes 1-3. Although based in Huntingdonshire, Small Measures already has regular customers around the world, including Sri Lanka and Australia.
The Nail Retreat was set up a year ago after 12 months in the planning by two friends who had originally met at college. The planning paid off, and the business took nearly £80,000 in its first year - more than 70 per cent ahead of the business plan. In addition to the two founders working full time, the company already has one fulltime and another casual employee. However, it is cautious about expansion, preferring to give personal attention to existing clients.