Awards to celebrate businesses in town to be launched

Thetford mayor and Cobra Domestic Appliances owner Roy Brame and Thomas Paine hotel owner Gez Chetal

Thetford mayor and Cobra Domestic Appliances owner Roy Brame and Thomas Paine hotel owner Gez Chetal are launching a Thetford businesses awards. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

A new awards set to be launched later this year will aim to recognise and celebrate the many different businesses in Thetford.

The Mayor of Thetford Roy Brame and Thomas Paine Hotel owner Gez Chetal have come together to organise the Mayor’s Business Awards to promote the town’s thriving business community.

Mr Chetal said he was involved with a similar concept in King’s Lynn and was inspired to recognise the town’s firms.

“I don’t think people realise the number of businesses in the town,” he said. “The big guys always get recognised but the smaller guys don’t.

“We want every business to get involved, from the small ones to the bigger ones.”

Business sectors in the town include manufacturing, engineering, tourism, equine and conservation and includes employers such as Shadwell Stud, the British Trust for Ornithology and Centurion.

There are also a number of well established smaller family-run businesses, including Thetford and District Funeral Services and the Thetford Garden Centre.

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Mr Brame, who has owned Cobra Domestic Appliances on Whitehart St for 40 years, said: “The Thetford Business Forum already has more than 100 members and that shows the measure of the business community in the town and lets do something to recognise them.

“This is just more promotion for the town.”

Categories are still to be finalised but will include Small Business of the Year and Local Employee of the Year.

A judging panel will decide on the finalists for the awards ceremony held in 2019, and includes town councillor Slyvia Armes and Mr Chetal.

Every business in the town is encouraged to take part.

“Community is what I am hoping to get from these awards,” said Mr Brame. “My mayoral year is about the promotion of this town and getting the community working together.

“I want the world to know that Thetford has got loads of businesses and is open to expansion.

“I am only here for one year and I would like it to be the beginning of something. I want it to continue for years.”

The Thetford and Brandon Times will sponsor the event.

More details of the awards and how to vote will be issued in due course.