Joyful independence day for Kent traders

Editor’s Blog Posted 11/09/15
Kent Independent Traders Awards made us laugh and cry...

Emotions ran high at the KITAs last night, as the county’s independent traders received recognition for their hard work, commitment and creativity.

All the blood, sweat and tears were evidently worth it as winner after winner stepped onto the podium at Maidstone’s Great Danes Hotel to accept their certificates. Many of the victors told us how much the accolades meant to them, with a few happy tears among the smiles. The irrepressible Hilary Steel kept the evening flowing with her relentless energy and witty banter - she even opened the evening with her own unique nod to the king of the independent traders, Del Boy…

Along with co-organiser, Sue Smith, Hilary presented a fantastic evening full of laughter and a real sense of celebration. A dozen very happy business people walked away with awards, along with this year’s Rising Star, a clearly overwhelmed Dr Sophie Shotter, of Illuminate Skin Clinics. Presenters included Paul Andrews from the Business Bunker radio show - who also gave us an opening talk on the pros and cons of doing business in Kent - and Kent County Councillor Mark Dance, who is Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

Hilary’s watchword for the evening was ‘collaboration’ and the cooperative nature of local independent traders was very evident, just in the friendships, smiles and yes, heckling, that were seen in the room during a triumphant evening. I slipped away just as the post-awards party was getting started - given the air of elation I witnessed last night, they’re probably still there now…

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