The winners of the biggest cash prizes from the York Restart Fund were revealed today.
In a nail biting announcement live on YorkMix Radio, the businesses which came top in the public vote were unveiled.
The winner of the People’s Choice vote is Just Smile Designs, a stationery and greetings cards shop run by Kerry Elstob on Bootham.
Second place goes to The Little Yorkshire Candle Company on Goodramgate, owned by Alex Hall.
And third place is Caseys Coffee, a mobile coffee shop situated close to the City Walls near Station Rise started by Clare Casey and her husband Matthew.
Almost 6,000 people from York voted in the competition, which was held last week after the finalists were decided from over 100 entries made to the York Restart Fund.
The fund was set up by First York to help small businesses in retail, leisure, hospitality and other consumer sectors boost their recovery from lockdown and is supported by the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) in North Yorkshire.
‘It’s absolutely amazing’
Marc Bichtemann, MD of First York, and Carolyn Frank, development manager of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), revealed the winners with David Green on the YorkMix Breakfast Show at 8.30am.
Kerry said: “It’s absolutely amazing. I’m so excited about what I will be able to do with the money. I can’t quite believe it.”
Alex said: “This is a brilliant start for us in getting going again. It will help us to expand into personalised products and add to our range. I’m just overjoyed.”
Clare admitted she “shed a few tears” when she discovered her business had reached the public vote.
“I can’t thank everyone enough who voted for us. We only set up two years ago, so to have come out as one of the winners is incredible, especially when I look at the other businesses who were involved.”
Marc Bichtemann said: “Congratulations to the winners and well done to all the finalists who made it to the vote.
“This brings to an end an amazing six weeks since we launched the York Restart Fund.
“The response from businesses and the public has been fantastic and has achieved what we hoped; recognition of the importance of small independent businesses to the recovery of York and a desire from the people of York to see them succeed.”
He added: “All 15 businesses receiving a cash boost from the Fund have great plans to put into action and we’re confident their determination will help the city and bring back local customers and visitors to the streets of York.”
Carolyn Frank said: ”The tremendous response to the recovery fund initiative by the public just shows how much residents in York value their local independent businesses and support them.
“At the FSB we exist to help all small businesses achieve their ambitions, but we cannot do that alone and everyone has a part to play in making sure small businesses are successful.
“I’m very grateful to First York and all the customers involved for showing their love for small business.”
The total of £20,000 from the York Restart Fund will be sent out to the 15 businesses this week.