A CEIRIOG VALLEY woman who launched an eco-friendly cleaning product business from her home was surprised on her doorstep with a national award.

Kerry Mackay started sewing reusable, compositable sponge alternatives two years ago from her home after financial hardship led to her relying on food banks.

Her business ScrubbiesUK went on to turn over £50k in the first year alone and is now a wholesale supplier across Europe.

Kerry was surprised at her home with the trophy for the Small Award’s top honour during a virtual online awards ceremony that increasingly stunned guests, as eleven businesses across the UK were also crowned winners on their doorsteps.

“I can’t believe the small awards came to my house – I was so surprised to get a knock on my door!,” said Kerry.

"To be recognised with this award is amazing and I’m really humbled, especially given I was up against some incredible businesses

“Two years ago, my son and I were in desperate poverty and I decided to claw my way out of that situation. It's been a tough road to get to where I am now – particularly with the pandemic and schools being off.

“I’ve been sewing at my table for ninety hours a week. But my small business is branching out in so many exciting directions and I’m now more determined than ever to reach my goals.”

ScrubbiesUK won the top award, as well as the ‘Sole to Sole’ award for best sole-trader, alongside 11 other winning small firms from across the UK, who were also surprised at their homes with trophies.

From platforms championing black-owned independent businesses and inclusive fashion brands, to the COVID community heroes who stepped up to support healthcare workers and provide vital food suppliers, this year’s Small Awards celebrate the UK’s smallest and greatest small firms across all sectors.

In its fifth year, the Small Awards recognise all types of small businesses, from longstanding family businesses and innovation-led start-ups, to social enterprises.

It is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK.

ScrubbiesUK has now produced over 60,000 sponges and is expanding through manufacturing in local prisons to help improve the skills and job prospects for offenders, along with supporting local charities and eco projects in schools.

Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain, said: “Scrubbies is an absolutely inspirational small business, with phenomenal hard-work, drive and care for the environment and local community at its heart.

“Congratulations to Kerry, who is a very deserving winner for this year’s Small Business of the Year, and represents so much of the incredible passion, resilience and dedication that we see across Britain’s small businesses, particularly over the last year.”