Two North Tyneside businesses have received awards for their community work and the way they have adapted to the COVID crisis in a YouTube virtual ceremony.

The annual North Tyneside Business Forum Awards celebrate the huge contribution that businesses make to the local economy and how they make North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit. Normally, these prestigious awards would be presented at a glittering celebration night with a host of other accolades but the Forum decided that as this year so many businesses have been  affected by the COVID 19 pandemic, it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so and instead broadcast the event via Zoom and YouTube. It can be watched back here https://youtu.be/Wka6FGDmbtI

Only two awards were given – The Heart of the Community Award relies on public nominations and a vote, while Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE selected the winner of the Spirit of North Tyneside Award following public nominations.

The Heart of the Community Award recognises businesses which show that it is not just the cash flow of a business that counts it’s about making a positive difference to the borough. The finalists were SOS Industrial on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, H&S Convenience Store in Wallsend and Whitley Bay’s Black Storm Brewery . The winning business was H&S Convenience Store for the way they engaged with their customers helping them through the worst of the pandemic.

The Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE Spirit of North Tyneside Award recognised and celebrated businesses who have adapted and innovated during the Covid- 19 pandemic. The award was won by Yoga Tribe NE whose work with isolated and pregnant women was highlighted. The other finalists were The Blind Pig and Whitley Bait.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “Since March, residents, businesses and the community and voluntary sector have all stepped up in times of need, helping to ease the burden of the Covid-19 pandemic on everyone affected.

“It’s really important to me to acknowledge and celebrate everyone who has helped to make a difference in North Tyneside, whether that is going the extra mile to support vulnerable residents or a community effort. I also wanted to recognise businesses which have been phenomenal in this time of crisis.

“We had so many fantastic nominations it was incredibly difficult to narrow them down but both winners fully deserve this recognition. I’d also like to thank all the businesses who have adapted and innovated during this incredibly difficult year.”

Karen Goldfinch  Chair of the North Tyneside Business Forum, said: “I’d like to say huge congratulations to all of our finalsists and a special well done to our winners H&S Convenience Store and Yoga Tribe NE.

“2020 has been a really difficult year for everyone but seeing the way that these businesses have pulled together and made a difference to their community and their working practices gives us all great hope for the future.”

The North Tyneside Business Forum is run by a management group made up of members from various industry sectors in the Borough and gives support in the form of networking, events and signposting for growth and development. Membership is free and open to any business of any size trading within North Tyneside. The Business Forum is supported by North Tyneside Council.

The Forum is FREE to join and is for any business with a trading address in North Tyneside.

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