Town's virtual business awards to give boost to owners

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and his members at the Thetford Business Awards in 2019.

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and his members at the Thetford Business Awards in 2019. - Credit: Richard Taylor

A town is set to hold its annual business awards virtually on May 17, to recognise the hard work of business owners who have had a difficult year. 

The Thetford Business Awards will stream live from the Thomas Paine Hotel.  

The awards started in 2019 by founder and hotel owner Gez Chetal, who hoped the event would bring local businesses together. 

Despite the awards being cancelled last year and virtual event being held this year, Mr Chetal said the sponsors and nominees will still be in for a night of entertainment and well-deserved recognition. 

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019.

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019. - Credit: Paul Mindy Photography

He said: “A lot of businesses have had hardly any income in the last 12 months so to get recognition like this is fantastic, the whole point is to acknowledge these smaller businesses, ran by one or two local people. 


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“Everyone is really excited and it has almost given them a light at the end of the tunnel. For whoever comes first and second, it will be a much-needed boost coming out of lockdown.” 

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019.

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019. - Credit: Paul Mindy Photography

Around 70 business from in and around Thetford are involved, with the winner of each category set to take home a crystal trophy. 

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The awards, supported by Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, will also be hosted by magician and entertainer Paul Martin, with nominees and sponsors watching from their homes. 

Mr Chetal added: “It’s something that was needed in the town. The first Thetford Business Awards was held in 2019 and it was incredible. 

“The whole point is for all of these companies to meet each other, network and even use each other. Which is huge for all of the businesses, it is brilliant. 

“Some of the people who are involved and who have been nominated say they can’t wait for it to happen.” 

Gez Chetal, owner of The Thomas Paine Hotel, in Thetford.

Gez Chetal owner of The Thomas Paine Hotel and founder of the Thetford Business Awards. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The categories include small business of the year, innovation, employer of the year, long-standing, employee of the year, retail, apprentice of the year, helping the community, leisure, hospitality, new business, environment, tourism and the founders.   

At the event Mr Chetal will also reveal the venue for the awards next year.  

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019.

The first Thetford Business Awards held in 2019. - Credit: Gez Chatel


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