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Island usiness Celebrating success IW Chamber Business Awards special issue: Full coverage of all of our winners

Business, brexit and the backbenches: Bob Seely MP in The Interview

Planning and property: Christopher Scott The Isle of Wight Lottery British Chamber’s forecast for 2018 Plus:

Chamber member news, events and benefits






In this issue...

02 08


News Business news Events Chamber events

FOREWORD WELCOME TO A NEW EDITION OF ISLAND BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND A NEW YEAR! There’s definitely a buzz around the Isle of Wight at the moment. We enter 2018 building on many successes in 2017. We’ve seen the official opening of the £11million CECAMM centre which will meet the needs of our world leading marine, aerospace and electronics businesses. Ascensos in Cowes have great plans to grow, building on the hundreds of jobs already in place. Red Jet 7 has been commissioned and will enter service ahead of schedule, built in East Cowes. Digital technology is in the spotlight too, with WightFibre launching the Gigabit Island at the council’s first digital conference.

Your Chamber has always played an active part in the Island’s economy, and more often, led the way. What became clear though was a lack of vision to unify many elements and players. Plans are all very well, but without a coherent vision there’s nothing to tie it all together. The Chamber decided to produce our own economic vision for the Isle of Wight, a simple one-page document, showing what we think the Island should look like in the next 10 or 20 years. At its core is the assertion that it is business that creates the wealth and the health of this country and without those efforts none of this can happen. I’m pleased to say that this vision has the support of the Isle of Wight Council. In these pages you’ll see the Island’s MP Bob Seely endorse it too. I hope that you will continue to support us to grow the Island’s economy and ultimately support the Island’s wider community in 2018.

From a Chamber perspective we welcome all of these steps forward. The Island is a great place to live and to work and all of these investments reinforce that message.


For 2018 we want to continue to drive investment and awareness of the Island.


Editor Tom Stroud

Advertising Tel. 01983 520777


14 22

The Interview Bob Seely MP

The Feature Business Awards 2017 Property and Planning Insight Christopher Scott


Over 50s Startups Martin Timbers


Talking Business Steve Porter

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA

Printing & Design Crossprint Ltd

Island Business Magazine – Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the IW Chamber of Commerce. The IW Chamber of Commerce and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here. Island Business magazine is printed by Crossprint, an ISO 9001 registered printer based on the Isle of Wight. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).




Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce



Wightlink pioneers hybrid technology in the Solent Wightlink’s new flagship Victoria of Wight is on track to be the Solent’s ‘greenest’ ferry when she joins the company’s fleet on the PortsmouthFishbourne route this summer. Victoria of Wight is a hybrid battery ship using four manoeuvrable Voith Schneider propellers. The four main engines each have a generator attached to them. In other green features, waste heat from the engines will be used to heat the passenger areas and surplus energy from the lifts will also be recycled. The ship has low energy LED lighting and her hull has been maximised for fuel efficiency. Barry Smith, Wightlink’s Head of

Safety, recently briefed an audience of shipping professionals at the Passenger Ship Sustainability Conference in Southampton. “This was a good opportunity to highlight our journey to become a more environmentally friendly operator,” Barry says. “We have worked with engine suppliers Wartsila to come up with this hybrid battery solution to improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing noise and emissions, which is good news for our neighbours and Wightlink. We look forward to welcoming her to the Solent and introducing her to our customers.”

Record breaking gala dinner supports young Islanders A gala dinner and auction held at the Royal Hotel in Ventnor has raised £66,000 for the Isle of Wight Youth Trust. All proceeds from the evening, the ninth annual event, will support the Youth Trust’s professional, free counselling service. The dinner was attended by a range of influential supporters, including Youth Trust Patrons Rob and Josie da Bank, Level 42 front man Mark King and Wightlink CEO Keith Greenfield. “The funds raised from this night will go a long way towards supporting over 18s counselling

service,” says Youth Trust Executive Director, Mairead Healy. “We are hugely thankful for the generosity displayed by all who support our gala dinner, not only the exceptional team at The Royal Hotel, but all the guests, business and individuals who contribute to make the evening such a brilliant success.” William Bailey, Managing Director at The Royal, said, “All of us at The Royal Hotel were overawed with the support and engagement for what was a really fulfilling Gala dinner. Our main focus is to invest in young people. It is

imperative that they are provided with support services to overcome the challenges that they face and make an indelible impact in their lives, their families, and the community.”

Global summit for Studio School headteacher Richard White, Headteacher of IOW Studio School, was recently chosen to represent the UK Studio School Trust at the prestigious World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha, Qatar. The biennial global summit gathers policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs, corporate and government leaders from around the world to explore current trends and share their visions for codesigning the future of education. ‘I was thrilled to be invited to represent the UK Studio Schools at this illustrious event,” Richard says. “It was the most amazing experience. I attended workshops, seminars, panel interviews and whole delegate


presentations. I met and discussed education issues as well as the Isle of Wight Studio School with professionals from China, USA, Norway, France, Colombia and Ghana to name but a few. What came across loud and clear was the significant place that emotional and social learning played in the most advanced and successful innovative education systems across the world - something we at the Studio School are proud to claim is central to much of what we do. I have returned with many exciting ideas to roll out in the near future at the Studio School and much information to share with other colleagues on the Island and across the UK.”



Triple win for Vikoma at Chamber Business Awards East Cowes manufacturer Vikoma International has been named Business Of The Year at the prestigious 2017 Business Awards For Excellence. The win was one of a hattrick of trophies for Vikoma and part of a great night for the Island’s manufacturing sector which also saw awards for Yokogawa Marex and Innovative Physics. The Seaview Hotel picked up two awards, recognising their green credentials and their drive to raise quality and standards in the tourism sector. Crossprint Media was named the Chamber’s Member Of The Year and other award recipients on the night included Brightbulb Design, Tipsy Wight, Hillbans Pest Control and Sugar & Spice Lingerie. “It’s been a fantastic night,” said the Chamber’s President Geoff Underwood. “We’ve seen some brilliant winners and the whole evening has celebrated Isle of Wight innovation and business excellence.” Read more from our winners, see the pictures from the night and the winners list in full in our special feature which starts on page 12.

Green recognition for Solent transport partnership Red Funnel Ferries, Steve Porter Transport and Meachers Global Logistics have been honoured at the Supply Chain Excellence Awards. Their Solent Alliance logistics and distribution partnership has been recognised for the positive impact it is having on the environment. Extensive research highlighted the reduction in emissions, reduction of congestion and the benefits to the local community which the partnership brings. This has been independently verified by Transport Systems Catapult who undertake research for the likes of Transport for London and the Highways Agency.

The three-way partnership also helps improves the breadth of services available to freight customers shipping goods across the Solent via Southampton. It is also highly efficient and offers economies of scale for Island businesses. Lee Hudson, Revenue Director at Red Funnel said: “This unique logistics and distribution partnership arrangement allows Red Funnel to focus on providing a first class ferry and holiday service, rather than provide its own road haulage operation. It is a truly unique way of working and we are delighted that it has received UK and now worldwide recognition.”

Employee award for Premier Ford Premier Ford in Newport has been named one of the UK’s Best Dealerships To Work For in a new programme launched by Automotive Management, the UK’s leading automotive retail business publication. The programme surveyed more than 1,500 employees, making it the latest of its type dedicated to the car retail sector.

employees are motivated and happy through

Premier Ford was recognised for providing an outstanding workplace environment that engages its staff and allows them to flourish. The company is committed to ensuring its

across all departments to make Premier Ford


a range of benefits, and promotes a positive workplace culture. “I am very proud to receive this award, voted for by our own staff,” says David Rye, Manager Director of Premier Ford. “It demonstrates the continuous efforts made a great place to work. Moving forward, our objective remains to have a happy team of staff and, of course, happy customers.”






Sue celebrates three years of being her own BOSS Sue Matthews is raising a glass to her business and its customers, as well as welcoming in the New Year for 2018! January 2nd marks the third anniversary of Sue launching BOSS Business Office Support Services. She set out to launch a secretarial and business support service to provide tailor-made and bespoke secretarial and administrative support, using her skills and experience from her previous working life as an Executive Assistant. Attending the Chamber’s One Day Business Start Up course inspired and encouraged Sue to take the first steps towards setting up her own business. She found a superb top floor office in Salisbury Gardens, Ventnor Enterprise Centre, overlooking the sea, and quickly set up systems in order to offer fast, reliable and confidential services. “Undertaking market research was key to discovering what services to offer and deciding what potential clients might want, particularly as all the work is undertaken by me personally,” Sue says. “I’m delighted that three years on BOSS Business Office Support Services continues to grow.”

Big year for Wight Computers Wight Computers founder Andrew Nordbruch celebrated his company’s fifth year in business in October. He’s seen rapid growth in his business, welcoming IT Engineer Ben Sollis to the team, as well as the company relocating to a much larger office at the Innovation Centre at St Cross Business Park in Newport, allowing for further growth in the future. You can also watch a series of new videos on the Wight Computers website.

From left: Ben Sollis (IT Support Engineer), Andrew Nordbruch (Managing Director), John Collingwood (Web & Software Developer)

“2018 is set to be a big year for us,” Andrew says. “We’re launching GDPR health-checks, helping businesses make sure their IT security and processes are ready. Over the last

12 months our customer base both on and off the Island has grown substantially, welcoming new clients including Island View Holidays and Wight Home Care as well as launching a new EPOS contract service working with Tesco, Sainsburys and Southern Co-op. “Our videos were produced by fellow Chamber member Tajayi Media. They demonstrate the key services that we offer, including customer testimonials and case studies to show how our bespoke, software solutions made on the Isle of Wight save our customers time and money.”

Qualification success for 5 Star Pest Control 5 Star Pest Control are celebrating the success

“This marks a big step forward for 5 Star Pest

of team member Adam Povey who has

Control. Adam is our first fully qualified field

received his Level 2 RSPH/BPCA qualification in Pest Management. He was presented with his certificate by Mark Butler of Killgerm, at the recent Pest Tech exhibition in Coventry.

technician. We were confident that he would pass having been through our own syllabus and the British Pest Control Association training system. He really has put in the hours

5 Star Pest Control is owned by David French who has worked in pest control on the Island since 1993. He won the Charles Keeble award in recognition of the best pass result in the Adam receiving his certificate with Mr Mark Butler BSc (hons) FRSPH Of Killgerm


over recent months. Pest Tech, organised by the National Pest Technicians Association, is one of the premier events in the pest control

UK for the BPC Diploma Part 2 Examination in

calendar and was the ideal venue for Adam to

2007, and he’s proud of Adam’s success.

receive his pass certificate.”



Get a free NHS Chamber Health check in 2018 IW Council leader Dave Stewart is reminding business people of the benefits of Chamber Health workplace health checks. Last year the Chamber Health team screened 1,000 Island employees at around 90 businesses. Of those screened, 63% had a BMI over 25 which is considered overweight and 100 people were referred to their GP as a direct result of the screening and almost 200 were referred to the Well Being Service. It’s been a welcome wake-up call for many employees and Dave Stewart is urging staff to take advantage of the free NHS health checks provided by Chamber Health in 2018. “A healthy Island is a happy Island,” Dave says. “For business people particularly, who are working hard and doing long

hours, managing your health is a key ingredient. It gives you the stamina to run your business and be able to work hard. I would urge all business people to get a health check and make sure you’re on top of your personal health. Without your health you can’t have anything. The local authority is a big employer and when we lose people for health reasons it’s always a challenge. We want to have a healthy and happy workforce and we must do what we can as employers but people must take their own responsibility too.” To find out more about booking your FREE NHS Health Checks, please contact the Chamber Health team on 01983 554545 or email chamberhealth@

Wellbeing walks offer life coaching A new Island wellbeing partnership is offering life coaching walks, funded by the Active Travel Innovation Grant Fund. ‘Walk With Purpose’ is a collaboration between coaching and training companies Coralesce, Altered Dawn & Symmetry Coaching. The team are organising individual and group ‘led’ walks, facilitated by a personal coach, focusing on life change themes such as starting a business, career development, redundancy, retirement, divorce and bereavement. Weekly themed group walks will start from locations including the Seaview Hotel, Westbay Club and the Garlic Farm. “The aim is to organise 'led' coaching

walks for visitors and residents including apprentices and young people,” explains Christina Conroy OBE, Director at Coralesce Ltd. “Research has shown that walking promotes new connections between brain cells and stimulates creativity, greater focus and well-being. The purpose is to encourage reflection and to develop fruitful coaching conversations that support the participant in making the changes that they want to make. Walking provides wellbeing and can help people to think more deeply in a relaxed way. With the challenge and support of a trained Coach walking alongside, people can address their challenges in a focused way and at their own pace.”

Christina Conroy, Juliette Chan and Madeline Paterson

Help employees to stay healthy and well this winter With the drop in temperatures and the heating going on, office environments are often breeding grounds for bugs, colds and flu at this time of year. In the UK around 137m working days were lost due to illness or injury in 2016, with minor illnesses such as coughs and colds accounting for almost a quarter of the days lost. Your employee’s health not only affects their well-being, but it also influences their


productivity, your health budget, and ultimately, your organisation’s bottom line. Encourage your team to consider getting the flu vaccination. Flu is highly contagious and can be easily spread from one person to another. Your local pharmacist can provide a flu vaccination and the costs are relatively small, for the protection and peace of mind it provides.

With most of our waking hours spent at work our working environment can also play a big part in our health and wellbeing. Encourage your staff to take proper breaks, get some fresh air or enjoy time out with colleagues. Health information sites such as NHS Choices host a wealth of information on how to stay fit and healthy. You can also contact Occupational Health who can carry out work related health assessments and immunisations as well as providing Sickness Absence Management Services. For more information go to or email











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Events Chamber

Make the most of the great networking opportunities on offer to Chamber members in 2018! Our monthly Networking Breakfasts offer a great way to meet new potential customers or clients and to promote your business. We have a busy schedule for the year with breakfasts in Cowes at the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Keats Cottage in Shanklin. In March we’re welcoming members to Liz Earle in Ryde at the Green House and we start the year at the West Bay Club in Yarmouth. In 2018 we’ll also be offering networking opportunities in the evening and at lunchtime. Members can join us in March to visit Strings Music Venue in Newport. The Chamber also runs a monthly Start-Up course for new businesses, held at the Chamber offices in Newport. It’s free to attend and you can find more information at

Friday 12th January, 7.30am – 9.30am

Friday 2nd March, 7.30am – 9.30am

Business Networking Breakfast

Business Networking Breakfast

The West Bay Club in Yarmouth

Liz Earle, The Green House, Ryde

Join us for our first networking event of 2018. £8.50

Thursday 22nd March, 9.30am – 4pm

FREE One Day Business Start Up Course

Thursday 25th January, 9.30am – 4pm

IW Chamber, Mill Court, Newport

FREE One Day Business Start Up Course IW Chamber, Mill Court, Newport Want to be your own boss or start your own business? Get support, help and advice with our free one day course.

Thursday 22nd March

Evening Networking Strings Music Venue Newport

Friday 2nd February, 7.30am – 9.30am

Business Networking Breakfast

Friday 6th April, 7.30am – 9.30am

Business Networking Breakfast

Royal Ocean Racing Club, Cowes Parade

Keats Cottage, Shanklin

Thursday 22nd February, 9.30am – 4pm

FREE One Day Business Start Up Course IW Chamber, Mill Court, Newport

Find out more and reserve your place for any of your events at

Business growth starts with you!

Vectis Business Link is a growing and dynamic network of local businesses across the Isle of Wight. We focus on encouraging and supporting one another, sharing business referrals and leads and working together as a team.

Come and join us at one of our next meetings! We meet every fortnight for breakfast at Ryde Castle Hotel for a 7.00am start till 9.00. For further details and reserve your space email Alex at or ring him on 01983 563144




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The Interview Bob Seely MP

Bob Seely has been in office for seven months now. It’s been a busy time for him, not least because he was unexpectedly thrust into the limelight when Andrew Turner stood down as the Conservative candidate during the election campaign. Tom Stroud asks the Island’s new MP about business, the backbenches and Brexit. 2017 must have been a bit of a whirlwind. You were thrown into it weren’t you? I was genuinely very surprised because clearly we had Andrew in place. I hope it was serendipitous how events worked out but, yes, it was wonderful. I think I went from being selected as candidate to being elected as MP in just 31 days. It was a very odd year and a very good year, when a lot of things of fell into


place. I’ve been a councillor for four years so I’ve already been directly engaged with political Island life and I know the Island like the back of my hand.

What do you think the Island’s business community want from you? I think they want somebody who will articulate the Island’s voice in Westminster, who will help deliver, who will help THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


provide leadership and ideas, who will help them to make their case with government. What I want from business people is their ideas, talent and – frankly – money. I want businesses to invest in the Island – investing their time, their effort, their leadership skills and setting an example. Whether it’s in apprenticeships, or a can-do attitude where they can work with me, or the council, or the voluntary or the business or the political sector, to deliver good change for the Island. I want the ideas and the energy that the business community provides, so that business people can make money and employ people and pay taxes, but I also want business people to take a lead in life on the Island. Small businesses in particular are the backbone of this country and they provide a very significant number of the jobs. We must champion them because they are the drivers of prosperity. The business community is a powerful thing and I want it to be a force for good. It’s not just about making a bit of money – although that is good in itself – what’s more important is the good that can be done with that wealth. This is our time to make a difference and leave the Island in a better state than we found it.

If Andrew were to have stood down in an election in 2018 or 2019 I was going to prepare a manifesto for what I think the Island needs. I’m still going to do that and I’ll launch it between February and May. It’s my vision for the Island, although not all of these ideas are exclusively mine. A lot of these ideas I share with the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, which has produced an excellent 2020 vision which I really like. It’s powerful and eloquent and a tribute to the Chamber’s senior membership team. Bob Seely MP

Brexit is a divisive subject isn’t it? Leave won the referendum nationally - and 62% of the Island voted out of the EU - but many people in the business community still oppose Brexit. You have to respect democracy and we were given a choice. You can’t just ignore it if you don’t like it. What we need to do now is make sure that Brexit is successful. An awful lot of the negative things that were predicted haven’t taken place. The Treasury promised an immediate and severe recession and that simply hasn’t happened. The slowdown in the economy may well have happened anyway because of differing economic cycles between Britain and continental Europe. The UK economy has grown by 15% since 2010. We have to get the best possible Brexit and I’m supporting the government in doing that, frankly. I’m more interested in getting immediate wins, rather than spending a lot of time and effort on Brexit. I do want to see the Island get our fair share of the dividend from Brexit. We will get back hundreds of millions pounds and I want a fair chunk of that money spent here because we will need to invest in our economy.

What can you realistically do as MP to help grow the Island’s economy? What would you like to achieve in your time in office? I want to be an active MP who makes a difference. As an MP you have a lot of influence but a limited amount of power. In the broader sense though you can drive and JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

encourage change. You can help people to get digital infrastructure funding. You can support people who want to bring a university here or expand higher education on the Island. You can support people who want to see the right type of housing for the Island – providing starter homes, social housing, key worker housing and homes that are affordable for young people, rather than just allowing speculative development which I think has been counter productive in the past. You can do a lot but the difficulty is trying to deliver. I’m going try and interpret the role as broadly as possible and to be as proactive as possible. I meet with ministers very often to talk about what the Island needs. A lot of MPs do a wonderful job but I’m holding meetings with ministers once or twice a week, often four times. I don’t think any backbench MP is talking to more ministers about their constituency than I am.

What are your ambitions politically? Are you happy to be the Island’s MP or would you like a ministerial role? I’m genuinely not very ambitious for myself. I’m not that young. I know people think I’m a whippersnapper but a lot of people are much younger than me in parliament. My ambition really is for the Island. If it came down to me being successful as a minister, or being successful in delivering for the Island, I would choose the latter every time. To be a good MP I have to deliver for the Island.




Island players are supporting Island jobs.

Have a look out our winning numbers! Win every week The Isle of Wight Lottery has paid out more than £2million in prize money! We give out more than £100,000 in prize money each year. On Lucky Friday we give away £1,000 each week, with another ten prizes of £100. Don’t forget our £10k Monster Draw too, as well as our £5k Mini Monster. We’re giving away another £5,000 on Friday 26 January!

Supporting local businesses and creating jobs By playing the Isle of Wight Lottery you’re helping us to support Island businesses with interest free loans. We’ve paid out more than 90 loans so far worth more than £740,000, creating 378 jobs.

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IW CHAMBER BUSINESS AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE 2017 A night that celebrates the very best in Island business. The 2017 Business Awards For Excellence once again provided a spotlight for Isle of Wight success and innovation, with Cowes Yacht Haven packed by almost three hundred people, watching our host Fred Dinenage in anticipation. The prestigious ceremony proved to be a great night for the Island’s manufacturing sector and it was a momentous evening for Vikoma International who were

named Business Of The Year, picking up three trophies, including the first ever Morris Barton Apprenticeship Business Of The Year award. The Seaview Hotel picked up two awards, being named Tourism Business Of The Year and the Green Business of the Year. Major General Martin White CB CBE JP was named Business Person Of The Year award and Crossprint Media were presented with the Chamber’s Member Of The Year.

Morris Barton Apprenticeship Business of the Year Award Sponsored by CHRISTOPHER SCOTT

Winner: Vikoma International

Highly Commended: Island Roads


It was a great night. The Morris Barton Apprenticeship Business Of The Year award is a great tribute to a man who should be remembered. Morris worked very hard and he got things done. He started as an apprentice at the County Press and he always saw apprenticeships as the way forward. Christopher Scott




Winner Vikoma International

International Business of the Year Sponsored by MOORE STEPHENS


Highly Commended:

Vikoma International

RFEL Yokogawa Marex

“Winning the Morris Barton Apprenticeship Business of the Year Award made me feel really proud. Apprenticeships have been really important to us for years. We build our whole team on apprenticeships and people can work and become experts in their field. Paul Rayner, our sales director who is here tonight, started on the shopfloor as an apprentice. The recognition that we’ve been doing it for a long time – it isn’t a fad – has been really good. “Winning International Business of the Year was great. We are definitively an international business. We are over 95% export, reaching all parts of the globe and it’s nice for other people to see what we do. There are other exporters in the room tonight and it’s a friendly environment. We all talk and we share things between businesses. Everybody wishes everyone else the best. It’s great company to be in. “Winning Business Of The Year was the icing on the cake. It’s really, really good for us. We have got a really good business and it’s fantastic for other people to recognise that. It’s a real morale boost for our organisation and it’s great for our customers and our investors and our suppliers. It’s really special. “It was lovely to be presented with our awards by Fred. Many years ago I actually worked at Meridian TV in the finance department so I remember being there when Fred was making the How 2 shows in the 90s. It was an amazing night. Really well put together and great fun.”

Karen Lucas, Managing Director, Vikoma International JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Tourism Business of the Year Award

Start Up Business of the Year

Sponsored by RED FUNNEL




Seaview Hotel

BrightBulb Design

Highly Commended:

Highly Commended:

Isle of Wight Festival

Isle of Wight Design and Print



Isle of Wight Experience

The Meeting Pod Co.

Green Business of the Year Award Sponsored by GURIT UK



Seaview Hotel

Tipsy Wight

Highly Commended: Visit Isle of Wight

“We can’t believe it! We have worked incredibly hard this year to grow the business and have taken on some fantastic clients. To add this award to our previous awards at last year’s event is a nice pat on the back for us. A massive thanks to the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce for recognising our progress. “To us this award represents the fantastic growth of our business over our first three years. We have worked very hard to get involved in the Island business community, working across Chamber initiatives, being one of the first to enter the Mini MBA programme and being the only design business to gain Quality in Business accreditation. Last year’s marketing and design award was a catalyst for massive growth, increasing turnover by 50% on last year and we think by winning Start Up Business of the Year it shows we are progressing the business in the best possible way. "The Chamber awards night is always one of our favourite nights in the business calendar. It’s not just about winning awards but also a fantastic networking opportunity and a chance to catch up with our clients in a buzzing environment. The effort the Chamber puts into this evening is a testament to the great work they do year round. We had a couple of sore heads in the morning but it was worth it to have such a fun night of celebration.”

“It was an exhilarating experience winning two Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for Excellence. The atmosphere at the awards ceremony was simply electric and it was a hugely enjoyable experience being among so many other fantastic Island businesses. The Awards to us are a massive acknowledgment of all the hard work we have collectively put in as a team to make our business better. At the Seaview Hotel we have a very collaborative system of management and a culture that is based on valuing everyone's contribution, so winning these awards demonstrates what a brilliant team we have! It also shows that we are ready to reinvent and meet challenges in order to develop and grow our business.

Matt Jeffery, BrightBulb Design

“When our name was called out it was such a wonderful surprise, we were so emotional because, for a brief moment, we could really stop and take stock of the incredible undertaking and adventure we had been on. That's a joyous and fulfilling experience. We firmly believe that our best days lie ahead, so keep watching this space!”

Philip Wilson, General Manager, Seaview Hotel




Small Business of the Year Award Sponsored by LIZ EARLE

Excellence in Customer Service Award Sponsored by PC CONSULTANTS



Tipsy Wight

Sugar & Spice Lingerie

Highly Commended:

Highly Commended:

Hillbans Pest Control




Rouse Limited

Holly Tree House

“We were thrilled to win the Small Business of the Year Award this year, capping off an exciting and successful year for Tipsy Wight. It is always an honour for your business to be nominated by the business community, but actually winning on the night was a special moment, and one we were immensely proud of. We are always seeking to improve our products and build successful relationships with our customers and suppliers, and when this is recognised by the business community it is very encouraging.

“Winning the Excellence in Customer Service award was completely unexpected so we are absolutely thrilled to have done so. We try hard to provide our customers with great service and professional advice as we believe that's what sets us little shops apart from chain stores, department stores and the internet. I have a great team of lovely ladies, Linda, Debbie and Liz. Linda and I were pleased to collect the award on all our behalves at the ceremony.

“We have worked very hard to create a product that the island can be proud of, and all the Tipsy team celebrated on Friday night with lots of hugs and handshakes, bopping away to the band and of course the mandatory selfies. We are really looking forward to next year when we are planning to launch more products and of course to champion the growing army of world class artisan food and drink producers on the Island.”

“Lots of people, including many customers have popped into the shop to say well done and that it was deserved, so it means a lot to us for our efforts to be recognised both by our customers and the wider business community. The award has pride of place in Newport shop and is putting a smile on our faces every day.”

Michael Green, Tipsy Wight

Sheila Wilson, Sugar & Spice Lingerie

Manufacturing & Technology of the Year Award Sponsored by IFPL Winner:


Yokogawa Marex

The Meeting Pod Co.

Highly Commended: RFEL “It is fantastic to win this award and be recognised for our ethos of continual improvement. I am very proud of all the team and this award is for all the hard work and pioneering spirit that they have, always improving the way that we create, deploy and support our systems across the globe. “As a technology company we provide solutions to help our customers run their businesses more effectively. Against a backdrop of a challenging global market and fast paced technological advances it is essential that we constantly look at the way that we work in a more efficient, effective and timely way. Adopting new technology, applying new techniques and streamlining our processes have enabled us to stay ahead of the curve and compete in the global market.”

IW CHAMBER The President’s Cup Winner Major General Martin White CB CBE JP

Wayne Matthews, Divisional Director, Yokogawa Marex JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Red Jet 7 - coming summer 2018 Key Facts:

1 2 3

£7 million investment in the Islands’ economy

4 5 6 7

Length: 41.12 metres

Safeguarding 85 skilled jobs Passenger comforts including air-conditioning, drinks service, toilets, free wi-fi and USB charging Capacity: 277 passengers and 4 crew Service speed: 38 knots Builder: Wight Shipyard Ltd, East Cowes

Follow the journey at or #RedJet7

Brochures, Books & Leaflets

Print as many or as few as you require Choice of paper Many different styles and finishes available Designed to work for you

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We can design and produce boxes, labels and sleeves specifically suited to your products. We also produce short run cupcake boxes – perfect for weddings, events and functions.


Design Service available

Stands & Banners

We offer a wide range of display options

It’s not just about business! Our friendly team are here to help with those special occasions too.

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& Wedding Stationery + Personalisation service THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


IW CHAMBER Member Of The Year Winner Crossprint Media

“I’m stunned to be honest with you. We support the Chamber throughout the year, with Island Business magazine, the Expo and with the design for the awards. I never expected this in a million years. It’s a great honour to be presented with this award from the Chamber tonight.”

Tim Sell, Managing Director, Crossprint Media

Business Innovation of the Year Award Sponsored by LIFELINE ALARM SYSTEMS Winner: Innovative Physics

Highly Commended: Yokogawa Marex


Marketing & Design Business of the Year Award

The Meeting Pod Co.


Winner: Into The Blue

Nominated: Isle of Wight Design & Print Tipsy Wight “It feels amazing to win this award. It’s been a very busy year for us so we’re super proud to be recognised by the Island. For us the award represents the way our business has grown, outside of where we originated in sailing. We’re moving into new territory and we’ve picked up quite a lot of new clients this year, including FatFace and MHI Vestas. We’re definitely moving into B2B and lifestyle marketing, not just sport. We live in a great place that lets our staff have an amazing lifestyle which lets us be even more creative. We’re not a traditional ‘London marketing agency’ and I think we can deliver the same as them, if not even better.”

Gail Willows, Director, Into The Blue


“Innovative Physics are very pleased to have received the Business Innovation award. Winning the award feels like we have the Island’s backing to move forward and to achieve great things, it feels like we are accepted as part of the Island business community and it feels amazing to receive the award for our dedicated, innovative team. The award means a lot to us; our customers are worldwide, primarily in Asia, where awards are seen to show great acceptance and quality, winning the innovation award demonstrates this. “On the awards night, we were asked how hard is it to do business from the Isle of Wight. In truth it has its barriers, however there are always barriers in business, and with the Island business community supporting one another as they do and with the strong manufacturing, technology and innovation based on the island, we believe Innovative Physics is located in a strong place to succeed and grow. It’s a fantastic island and we are pleased to be part of it.”

Mike Anderson, CEO, Innovative Physics



Growth Business of the Year Award Sponsored by STEVE PORTER TRANSPORT

Business in the Community Award Sponsored by WIGHTLINK



Hillbans Pest Control

HJM Aspire


Highly Commended:

Isle of Wight Experience

Bodster Equine

WightStream Hydrocleaning Group


“We were shortlisted for two awards, and as a team were looking forward to a fun night. The event was busy, with many familiar faces to network with. When our name was called out for the highly commended in the Small Business Award category we couldn't quite believe our luck! Then when we were announced as winners in the Growth Business category we were all ecstatic.

Ambulance Training & Community Response

“These awards are recognition for all of the hard work that everybody at Hillbans Pest Control has carried out over the past year and the event was an amazing end to an amazing year at Hillbans. Sandra and Patrick Knowles became Directors of the Pest Control business in October 2016 due to the retirement of the previous owner. Since their takeover, Hillbans Pest Control has gone from strength to strength with a large growth seen in the company in the last 14 months. Hillbans Pest Control were delighted to have taken on lots of new customers island wide which has allowed Hillbans Pest Control to expand their team and introduce female technicians into the business.”

“It’s really exciting to win this award and it’s been a great year for us. We won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary service earlier this year so the Business Award for Excellence has been the cherry on the cake. It’s great to be recognised by the business community. This award represents the hard work of all of our volunteers here. We mobilise around 120 people each week as volunteers. Part of our ethos here is to enable other people to be the best that they can. We encourage people to use our Social Enterprise centre, with meetings rooms and facilities, to be able to do good things in the community. It would be great if other businesses on the Island could look to supporting Aspire and the work we do.”

Sandra Knowles, Hillbans Pest Control

Heath Monaghan, Leader of Aspire Ryde

Fred Dinenage with the IWChamber team

Chamber President Geoff Underwood

Live music from The After Party

How for now: Fred with Newsquest’s Vincent Boni





Commercial Land for Sale Your chance to join Aldi and Esplanade at Cowes’ premier business park. Serviced sites available from 0.35 to 4 acres. Subject to planning the sites would be suitable for a range of uses including light industrial, offices, storage or a hotel. The site is located on the southern edge of the seaport town of Cowes, famous for being a sailing hub and in particular the annual Cowes Week event which attracts up to 1,000 boats, and is the world's best-known sailing regatta. Cowes has an excellent range of shops and restaurants and has the regular Red Jet passenger ferry service linking the town with Southampton in approximately 20 minutes. Cowes is home to a number of established employers. BAE Systems and outsourcing company, Ascensos, are located next to the site. Other major employers in Cowes include the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Liz Earle and Carisbrooke Shipping. Systems Park’s strategic location on the Newport Road, one of the two main routes into Cowes, and opposite the Cowes Park and Ride mean that discount foot retailer, Aldi, and VW car franchise, Esplanade, have already chosen the location for themselves. Do not delay and miss the opportunity to be part of the most prestigious business park on the Isle of Wight.







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Property and Planning Insight Christopher Scott is managing director of the property service practice that bears his name. The business was originally established in 1979 and opened on the Isle of Wight in 1984, based at Gatcombe House. The business moved some 10 years ago to its current offices in Wootton. What are you looking forward to in 2018? I think a lot of projects are about to begin this year. There are community housing schemes in Yarmouth and hopefully Brighstone and Gunville. We’re also looking at a scheme in Seaview. The Ash Lane project in Newport should see ground being broken in the middle of the year, which is really exciting. This development should also lead to more apprenticeships in the building industry and an increased sense of health and safety across the Island. The project allows small builders to buy plots to get themselves on the ladder and build more houses. The development is the net result of the “Let’s get the Island building” campaign that began five years ago. The Chamber has been involved in this project from the start. We are hoping to repeat its success with a development in Ryde which, hopefully, will get planning this year.

There’s a lot going on in Cowes, isn’t there? Yes. Cowes is normally one of the first places to be hit when there’s a recession, but what we are seeing is people buying houses with cash. It’s really the only place where there’s been large scale residential development in recent years. There’s also a stakeholder group in place in Cowes, looking at the opportunity to upgrade the West Cowes gateway, hopefully following what might happen in East Cowes. Stakeholder groups bring people together and really drive projects forward. I’ve been working with Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht


Haven, Cowes Harbour Commission and the town council to develop a masterplan and some blue sky thinking about how we develop the gateway in a way that everyone can sign up to. We want to improve parking facilities in the town as well as expand the park-and-ride offering to three times the size. This will address the conflict between residents parking and the needs of Red Jet users and shoppers. The project will provide waterfront access and facilities like a “mini Gunwharf” with restaurants, a post office, offices, hotel and large piazza area connected to the marina. We also act for the owners of the former BAE site in Northwood, where Aldi and Esplanade’s new showroom is being built. There are other service plots we are now offering for sale and we are talking to other businesses who want to expand and relocate in this expanding, employment area.

The planning process can be difficult because people find a site and then they want to move in within a timely manner. If they can’t achieve this within a six month to nine month period it can become very frustrating and expensive. We have some sites where planning permission was actually started some nine years ago and we are now just getting on site. You have to be pretty persistent. That said, despite Brexit, people want to invest and they want to invest on the Isle of Wight which is very exciting.

Is planning and development on the Island a bit different to elsewhere in the UK?

Are you looking for on the island or mainland businesses? Is there a difference?

Islands are always a bit different. Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are too. People come to live here for a reason and discussions around planning applications are always more intense. In the last 25 years the Island has slowly been dragged forward, I think in a very positive way. In my mind the appointment of a Regeneration team by the local authority has been one of the best things to happen to the Island in the last fifteen years.

We are encouraging mainland businesses to come to the Island as well as relocating growing Island businesses here on the Island. It really depends on whether the solution is ready to go, or is subject to the elongated planning process. Ascensos is a success story that the council’s Regeneration team worked very hard to make happen and should be very proud of. We are looking to relocate businesses now that want to invest on the Isle of Wight.

I would like to see the IW Council being able to work more proactively and positively. I think they are and I think the local authority should realise that there should be a greater amount of facilities being provided in other towns other than Newport. There is no reason why Ryde and the Bay area cannot have their own retail offering on the same basis as Newport. This will cut down commuting and also cut down congestion.



Christopher Scott

Ultimately you cannot develop if it makes something suffer in another location. It’s about bringing the community along with you. People will always take a different view and that’s often down to pressures on resources. A joined up approach should be the order of the day. For example, Newport has seen a large increase in empty shops in the last two years. A recent retail study shows that granting permission for Asda on the outskirts of the town, without a Section 106 payment, was probably the wrong way to do it. A large chunk of money could have been reinvested in the town centre infrastructure. Apart from the footpath and cycleway to connect the store to the town, they haven’t improved anything within the centre as a result of this development. If you walk through the High Street and look up you will see grass growing out of gutters and chimneys. Newport town needs a sense of pride and needs help. There is an opportunity to do something with the coming planning application for other retail uses within the area.

As a development consultant you have a lot of responsibility don’t you? To the client – and also to the people who will use the property in the future. Yes. There’s a sense of legacy. I can still look back at the majority of things we have done with a great sense of pride. We still have lots of energy and there is still a pleasure in seeing something live on and being sustained in a positive way for the Island.





BCC FORECAST FOR 2018: Uncertainty constraining UK economic growth

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has slightly downgraded its three-year outlook for the UK economy, cutting growth expectations from 1.6% to 1.5% in 2017, from 1.2% to 1.1% in 2018, and from 1.4% to 1.3% in 2019. The slight downgrade to the leading business group’s forecast is mainly driven by a slightly weaker contribution from net trade across the forecast period, while household consumption and business investment are expected to remain sluggish through the forecast period. UK productivity is also forecast to remain subdued. Inflation is expected to remain elevated in the short-term and then moderate slightly as the impact of the post-EU referendum slide in sterling fades. However, inflation is forecast to outpace earnings until 2019, eroding real wages and weighing on consumer spending, a key driver of UK economic growth. As such, our new forecast is that the next increase in UK official interest rates, to 0.75%, will occur in Q4 2019. The BCC expects UK public sector net borrowing to be £12.4 billion higher over the next three years than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility at the 2017 Autumn Budget, with slower growth expectations likely to reduce the Exchequer’s ability to generate tax revenue. With the UK economy expected to continue on a path of slow and sluggish growth, the business group is urging a far stronger focus on ‘fixing the fundamentals’ of the UK economy over the coming year – as skills and labour shortages, congested


infrastructure, patchy digital connectivity, a slow planning system and high up-front costs stymie investment and stunt productivity improvements. At the same time, to lift the cloud of uncertainty over business communities, the UK government must do all it can to move negotiations with the EU forward, secure a transition deal and answer business’s practical questions around trade.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the

Export growth is expected to grow at 4.3% in 2017, 3.1% in 2018 and 2.9% in 2019 as global growth drives international demand, while import growth is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2017 2.7% in 2018, and 2.9% in 2019. This leaves our net trade position weaker across the forecast period than we previously forecast in Q3.

to ease the cloud of uncertainty that lingers

Growth in consumer spending is expected to slow from 1.6% in 2017 to 1.0% in 2018, before rising to 1.3% in 2019 Looking at sectors, manufacturing growth has been upgraded from 1.4% to 2% in 2017, and is expected to grow at 0.9% and 1.1% in 2018 and 2019. Construction growth has been revised upwards for 2017 from 1.3% to 3.2%, and is expected to grow at 0.5% and 1.0% thereafter. Services sector growth has been downgraded from 1.8% to 1.7% in 2017, and is forecast to grow at 1.3% and 1.6% in the following years

British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Despite pockets of resilience and success, and strong results for some UK firms, the bigger picture is one of slow economic growth amid uncertain trading conditions. “Clarity on the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is needed over business communities, and which is undermining many firms’ investment decisions and confidence. Certainty over the course of Brexit would also help to stabilise markets, and reduce the volatility of sterling, which businesses say is increasing their costs. “Yet even the best possible Brexit deal won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if the government fails to address the many longstanding, and well-known, barriers to growth here at home. Ever-rising upfront costs, a labour market at capacity, growing pressure on land use, and a physical and digital infrastructure in need of investment and expansion, all prevent UK firms from reaching their potential. While the recent Budget made some welcome steps in the right direction, concerted and sustained action to fix the fundamentals is needed to encourage business investment and growth.” THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


VECTIS REFRIGERATION Island businesses that rely on refrigeration are being warned about changes in legislation and price rises in 2018 Will Overton T.Minst.R formed Vectis Refrigeration Ltd in 2015 with a view of giving businesses on the Isle of Wight a cost-effective and efficient service for all their refrigeration and air conditioning requirements. Before setting up Vectis Refrigeration he was employed as a lead engineer maintaining most of the supermarkets on the island. He is a time served engineer with over 18 years’ experience and moved onto the island 10 years ago. He’s now compiled a comprehensive guide to help Island customers adapt to the coming changes.

Will Overton

Will Overton from Vectis Refrigeration Ltd is urging businesses in the food, farming, hospitality and medical sectors in particular to be aware of rising costs and changes in supplies.

“I think it’s important that island businesses are aware,” Will says. “We hope that our proactive approach can make a difference to tough decisions that need to be taken because of refrigerant phase down and the costs that are incurred as a direct result of this process. Vectis Refrigeration Ltd can help all island businesses with their refrigerant strategy in light of these

issues to provide ‘best practice’ solutions for their individual needs going forwards both short and long term. “Many business-critical cooling systems rely on HFC refrigerants. These high global warming potential substances are becoming scarce and expensive and will eventually be phased out. It is essential that businesses develop a strategy to reduce their reliance on these refrigerants. There are several alternative refrigerants that are already being widely used and the strategy developed should minimise the risk to your business and should reduce the environmental and financial cost of your cooling equipment. The strategy should also cover the conservation of your existing refrigerants by reducing leakage and leak potential.” Will’s detailed guide is available online at

“Refrigeration and air conditioning is changing dramatically,” Will says. “The refrigerants (gases) we have used for decades are being phased out due to environmental legislation. Brexit or not, the UK will be driven by the same legislation and this brings a knock-on effect to the end user. We estimate that around 70% of Isle of Wight businesses uses refrigerant in its equipment that during 2018 will simply not be available in the UK. To date we have seen 40% to 60% price increases month on month for refrigerant and this is set to continue.”

complete cooling solutions for the isle of wight Tel: 01983 623100






Martin Timbers is celebrating winning a Highly Commended award at the Business Awards For Excellence. Martin runs Isle of Wight Design and Print and his business was nominated twice. He was shortlisted for the Marketing and Design award as well as the Start Up category, for which Martin was awarded a Highly Commended. It’s a great success for Martin, as well as the Over 50s Start Me Up group, which is part of the Age Friendly Island project and is funded by the Big Lottery. “It was an awesome night,” Martin says. “I was so delighted. I was so impressed by the awards and I was a little bit in awe. When I won an award it was the icing on the cake.” Martin’s win reflects two years of hard work, building a business from scratch. He’s had a bit of help too, from the Over 50s Start Me Up programme. Business mentors Lynda and Fiona have helped Martin to launch and grow his business. It’s the first time Martin has been his own boss and Isle of Wight Design and Print is built on Martin’s 35 years of experience as a graphic designer, web designer and photographer. “Two years ago I had no business,” Martin explains. “I had an idea but I had no equipment or clients. The first thing I did was attend the Start Me Up course at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce in January 2016. I’ve never looked back.” Martin was able to share his ideas with


his mentors as well as other new businesses on the Start Me Up programme. Martin has grown with the project too. He’s now helping other Over 50s start-me-ups with advice on marketing and social media. “To date I have 65 clients,” Martin says. “I’ve worked with 27 new start up businesses on the Island and a huge proportion of them have been part of the Over 50s group. At the awards I was supported by other new businesses from the Over 50s network as well as Lynda and Fiona. It was great to celebrate with them. I’ve been the first Over 50s person to win a Business Award but I’m part of the team and I feel like the award is for everybody really.” The Over 50s Start Me Up project is supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding. It provides mentoring and helps to encourage people over 50 to start their own business and be their own boss. Being part of the project has made a huge difference to Martin. “It’s really inspiring,” Martin says. “To be on the same shortlist as long established, multi-award winning big businesses is amazing. It was a bit like a dream. I work very long hours and it’s been worthwhile. Winning the award provides direction for my business and it tells me that I’m doing the right thing.”

Over 50s Start Me Up mentoring and workshops are supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding. THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


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Steve Porter, Chairman of the IW Chamber of Commerce Main Board

As we begin a new year, I felt a few thoughts on where we have been, where we are now and what lies ahead may be appropriate. If nothing else, it allows me to get a load off of my chest! 2017 was, in my opinion, dominated by one sentiment – uncertainty. In the course of my day job and through the Chamber, I speak to many businesses throughout the year, be they large or small and across a wide range of industries. I detect that even those that previously had seen the potential opportunities of Brexit are facing up to the realisation that Utopia is not going to be our biggest trading partner. With a few notable exceptions, everyone seems to be hesitant and preoccupied with maintaining the status quo, rather than investing or expanding their businesses and, more and more, the ‘price’ is now the total focus. As we near our departure from the EU, uncertainty will prevail as it is impossible to make proper plans if you don’t know what you’re facing. The short term gains for exporters driven by the weak pound cannot last forever. Some larger businesses that I speak to see Brexit as a challenge, rather than a benefit, although some smaller enterprises may disagree. On the upside, the predictions of a postreferendum financial meltdown have not come to fruition yet, although the warning

signs are there for us to take heed of. I may sound like a broken record with my views on the ‘B’ word, but its effects are (and will be) so deep and far reaching for generations to come, as well as it being so divisive for our country as a whole. Remember that apart from business, consumer confidence is everything and even this seems to be falling at the moment. Our tourist season started well, but I think the industry accepts that it has not been a vintage year, with the expected influx of foreign visitors (due to favourable exchange rates) not really materialising. The agricultural and hospitality sectors must also be pondering life after EU subsidies and the access to skilled and willing workers post 2019. On a much more positive note, the Island has much to celebrate and to be proud of. The recent Chamber Awards night again highlighted the strong, innovative and successful companies that thrive here and a fabulous night was had by all who attended. Vikoma International merits a special

mention for the three awards that they collected on the night, including Business of the Year 2017. Having been here for fifty years, they continue to innovate and evolve their products and services – a valuable lesson for any company. Another winner was the Seaview Hotel, who are clearly working extremely hard to raise standards in the tourism and green sectors. On behalf of myself and everyone at the Chamber, I would like to wish you all the best and a very successful New Year.


Every month Island Business magazine spotlights the people and companies that are making the news on the Isle of Wight. If you’ve got a story to share with the Island’s business community, start with Island Business. Every edition is emailed directly to thousands of Island business people and the physical edition is racked across the Island at high footfall locations. It’s also directly mailed to all Chamber members. If your business is growing, investing, celebrating, winning awards, appointing new staff or marking a milestone then get in touch. Send your news stories to the editor, Find out more about advertising, sponsorship opportunities and how we can help you to raise your profile by emailing



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Island Business January/February 2018  
Island Business January/February 2018  

Start 2018 with the best in Island business and all of our winners at the recent Business Awards for Excellence. The Interview is with Bob S...