Three firms in the county are celebrating after being given the royal seal of approval in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Some 201 businesses nationwide were named today, to mark the monarch’s 93rd birthday.
The awards, now in its 53rd year, are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, with companies from across the UK recognised for their contribution in four categories.
Each winning firm will get to display the Queen’s Award for Enterprise emblem – and fly its flag – for five years.
Among the winners is Tonbridge-based Atom Brands.
It scooped the award for international trade for outstanding short term growth courtesy of its overseas sales over the last three years.
The company, which started trading in 2011, produces and exports gin, scotch whisky and run to over 40 different markets.
Overseas sales have grown by 345% over the three year application period and in the final year of application 37% of total sales was exported.
Another winner was South Darenth-based Brigade Electronics Group in the same category.
It launched its first reversing alarm in 1976 and now leads the way in vehicle and plant safety, having extended its portfolio to include all-round visibility.
Over the most recent three years, the company’s overseas sales rose by £12.8 million, with year on year growth exceeding 25% per annum. Export sales peaked at £27m in January 2018 up from £14.3m in 2016, and exports now account for nearly two-thirds of total turnover.
The final Kent winner was Sittingbourne’s Trinity Fencing CIC which has been awarded the Queen’s Award for promoting opportunity.
The company has traded for over 30 years, providing fencing, decking and landscaping and since 2015 it has run an apprenticeship programme for offenders, ex-offenders, the unemployed, ‘Neets’ and young people with learning difficulties, providing qualifications, work experience and help with home rental costs during the apprenticeship period.
Many apprentices take up employment with the company, with a career progression plan in place. For those not taking employment with the company, help is given sourcing employment elsewhere and reintegrating into society. The programme provides basic life skills such as time-keeping, personal hygiene and decision-making; it supports beneficiaries into temporary rented accommodation or longer term assisted accommodation.
Business secretary, and Tunbridge Wells MP, Greg Clark said: “These awards recognise the innovative products and services being provided by British businesses that are in demand across the world, as well as the sheer determination and hard work that comes with starting and running a business.
“Many of these winners are small businesses – the backbone of our economy – and we are backing them to grow, increase their productivity and create more jobs and opportunity across the UK through our modern industrial strategy.”