By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
DESPITE the struggling economy in Freeport, two businesses are enjoying outstanding success. The owners were both named Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of their ability to buck the economic trend.
Brian Botham, owner of Red Beard's Pub; and Erica Gates, owner of Junkanoo Beach Club, received the prestigious award at the 4th annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.
Mr Botham has been in business for 16 months and has already made Red Beard's Pub a favourite local spot.
"It's an honour to win the award," he said. "After being in business for less than two years, to achieve this award and recognition was a huge surprise and a wonderful experience.
"We have managed through very hard work to establish a restaurant that consistently serves great food at reasonable prices with a wonderful atmosphere."
Mr Botham, also known as "Red Beard" because of his long red beard, employs a staff of 16.
They man the ship six days a week from 4pm until late.
In addition to being named Entrepreneur of the Year, Mr Botham also recently received his first Trip Adviser Certificate of Excellence.
The certificate is awarded to qualifying accommodations, attractions and restaurants listed on TripAdvisor that maintain a high overall user rating and a high volume of recent and quality reviews.
"Everything we do has a personal touch," Mr Botham said, "and we always thank our customers and greet them and make sure they are happy with every visit they have."
Mrs Mercynth Ferguson, GB Chamber of Commerce administrator who also served as a committee member on the Awards Nomination Board, said Red Beard's was chosen because it has made a significant impact even though it is a relatively new business.
"Their use of social media and pure local popularity has really made them an easy candidate to recognise for excellence," she said.