Slideshow: Morley businesses championed at awards

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Independent business in Morley was celebrated at a glitzy awards ceremony last Friday night.

The 2014 Morley Business Awards was organised by the local chamber of commerce and town events manager Rachael Kennedy at The Village Hotel in Tingley, as hard-working, local entrepreneurs were recognised for their part in the success of Morley business.

Seven gongs were presented to champions at the black tie dinner, including awards for social impact, customer service and overall business of the year. The awards have been running for seven years.

Attendees were then treated to a three course meal and there was some surprise live entertainment in the form of a Morley-based samba dance troupe.

Rachael Kennedy said: “It was a fantastic night and certainly the best business awards we’ve had to date. There was a fantastic atmosphere and a real sense of community spirit at the ceremony.

“Seventy-nine per cent of the town centre in Morley are independent retailers and so the awards are about encouraging and congratulating these people for all their hard work.”

James Bailey, centre director for the White Rose Shopping Centre which acted as the ceremony’s main sponsor, said: “The MBAs have grown in stature year on year and are not only a celebration of successful endeavour, but underline the fact that the Morley area is a great place to visit, to shop in and to do business.

“We are proud to be part of this community.”

Among the prizes given out was the Observer & Advertiser-sponsored Reader’s Choice award, which was picked up by gift specialist shop Cadeaux.

Shop manager Sam Aspinall, said: “It feels fantastic to win this award and I’m really, really proud. When we first started up in Morley some people said we wouldn’t last three months, and here we are three and a half years later.

“It’s really hard for small businesses just to keep their heads above water at the moment.

“But Morley is such a lovely little place and here we get that really good personal relationship with our customers and we’re really grateful to them for supporting us.”