A SOLAR energy and hot tubs entrepreneur picked up a top national business award.
Gareth Jones, Managing Director of the Carbon Zero Group, was named Businessman of the Year at the Welsh SME Business Awards, held at The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff.
In what has been a challenging period for UK industry, the Mochdre-based retail and tourism pioneer has bucked the trend and enjoyed a solid 12 months, matching record-breaking sales of the previous year.
Gareth wants to build on that in 2020 and push turnover over £2.5million following a period of investment in his workforce and facilities. He also has big plans for their hot tub showroom at the Old Creamery on Station Road.
“It’s an absolute honour to win this award, it was a big surprise, so I’m really thrilled,” said Gareth, a qualified civil engineer and the youngest ever President of the Federation of Master Builders.
“I’ve been fortunate to win prizes in the past but this one feels particularly sweet as it’s been a tough and uncertain year for business in the UK.
“We’ve felt that as well, but by working together and with the support of our incredible, loyal customers we’ve been able to achieve good results.”
He added: “There has been investment here in Mochdre and there will be more in the months ahead, so we are entering an exciting new era for the company – to have received this prize shows we are on the right path.”
As well as the Solar Energy division, hot tub showroom and composite decking side of the Carbon Zero Group, Gareth also owns the revolutionary groundscrew solutions firm, Stop Digging! North Wales and the North West.
Each service complements the next, and with satellite hot tub sites in Abergele and Porthmadog proving popular, the dad-of-one says the firm will continue to have a positive effect on the region’s tourism and leisure economy.
Their place among the biggest hot tub businesses in the country is also secure, having again been nominated in the Spa Retailer of the Year category at the UK Pool and Spa Awards, and for a prestigious SME National Business Award at London’s Wembley Arena in December.
“We have found a good blend and all aspects of the company are firing on all cylinders,” said Gareth.
“We try and stay ahead of the game by being a little but unique and stealthy, which gives us flexibility and puts the customer at the heart of every decision.
“It’s worked well for us, and I’m confident with the improvements made this year we can grow further in the months ahead.”
One of the highlights of the calendar was Wales’ first hot tub expo, and next summer’s looks set to be even bigger and better.
“We had such a good turnout that next year’s event will be even more of a celebration, for new and existing customers,” he said.
“Thanks to everyone who has supported us, and to the Welsh SME Awards for presenting us with this trophy – it’s fantastic.”
The Welsh SME Business Awards celebrated the ‘tenacity’ of individuals with enough ‘grit and business acumen’ to drive their companies to success in often challenging sectors. Accolades included Unique Business of the Year, Growth Business of the Year and SME Business of the Year.
Irfan Younis, CEO of organiser Creative Oceanic, said: “Congratulations to all winners and finalists of the second Welsh SME Business Awards.
“We salute you for all you do to create jobs, service your industry and the Welsh economy. We’re excited to see how the SME campaign evolves over coming years.”
For more information on UK Leisure Living, visit www.hottubsnorthwales.biz and follow @nwaleshottubs on social media.