Chelmsford Star, the Essex-based independent retail co-op, has landed the ‘Best For Community Impact’ at the National Business Charity Awards, held in London last night (23 May).
The Co-operatives UK member, which has 50 branches across Essex, including travel agents, food shops and funeral homes, beat off international competition from the likes of Aldi and Prudential.
The local co-op was recognised for the sheer volume of charity work and community initiatives it has run in the region over its 150 year history. Its Charity of the Year programme also came to the fore - and the fact that a third of all its turnover is reinvested into the Essex economy in some way.
Head of Membership and Marketing, Kevin Bennett, said: "Thirty-three pence in every pound people spend in our shops supports Essex in some way. As a co-op, this is what we do, it’s our whole point for existing, it is in our DNA.
"That being said, it is fantastic to be recognised for the fact we punch above our weight. It felt a bit like David and Goliath tonight, as some of those businesses operate in more counties than we have stores!”