Sunderland businesses honoured at Portfolio Awards

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THE best of the best in business from across Wearside, South Tyneside and East Durham was honoured at the Stadium of Light tonight.

The Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards 2013 saw awards handed out in front of a packed audience in the stadium’s banqueting suite.

The big winner was Washington-based Oil Consultants.

The firm, which provides specialist staff to energy companies across the world, was named Overall Business of the Year just minutes after picking up the trophy in our Export category.

“The overall winner is a company which has firmly established itself as a global leader in its field, due to the quality of its service and calibre of its staff,” said our judges.

“It has created a business which can supply specialists around the world at a moment’s notice, with a 50-strong workforce who regularly have to deal with a demanding client base.

“Yet despite its worldwide business base, the company stays close to its roots, resisting the temptation to move out of the North East.

The Outstanding Contribution to the City award, in the gift of the city council, went to Margaret Elliott of Sunderland Home Care Associates.

Sunderland Echo editor John Szymanski paid tribute to all the businesses who had entered the awards in a year in which the standard was particularly high.

“Everyone knows conditions have been tough for business in recent years, but there is still so much good work going on, and the Portfolio Awards represent a great opportunity to celebrate the very best,” he said.

“It was tremendously heartening, during our visits to the shortlisted businesses big and small, to see some of this good work at firsthand.

“There are success stories to celebrate across Wearside, and as Sunderland’s own newspaper, the Echo has a pivotal role to play in highlighting all that is best in business.

“The standards were incredibly high across the board, and it is only a shame we were unable to honour every single business that entered the awards.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to all our winners and, to those who were not fortunate enough to be going home with a trophy, there is always next year.”

The Portfolio Awards have established themselves as a vital fixture of Wearside’s business calendar but also a great night out, regardless of whether or not guests take a trophy home.

A big part of that has been our choice of speaker, and this year’s entertainment came courtesy of Black Cats legend Kevin Ball, fresh from his second stint as stand-in boss at Stadium of Light.

The winners:

Business of the Year, sponsored by Make it Sunderland: Oil Consultants. Commendation: National Glass Centre.

Training, sponsored by SAFC: Cultivate Training.

Technology, sponsored by Azure: Assist–MI.

Employer of the Year, sponsored by Gentoo: Leibherr.

Green Award, sponsored by Northumbrian Water: O’Brien and Sons Ltd.

Creative Business, sponsored by NE Press: Sunnycon.

Special Community Award, sponsored by CES: Salvation Army Swan Lodge.

Leisure, sponsored by Mortons Solicitors: Amore Group. Runner-up: Emma Enchanted.

Export, sponsored by Make It Sunderland: Oil Consultants.

Young Business, sponsored by Grafton: 1879 Events Management. Runner-up: Serendipity Tea and Trinkets.

Small Business, sponsored by Thompson Waste Centres: Whitewaters.

Medium Business, sponsored by The Bridges: Thoburn Fresh Produce.

Large Business, sponsored by TTR Barnes: Tavistock Leisure.

Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Sunderland City Council: Margaret Elliott.