L-R: Darren Toogood with Kevin Cadd from Gurit UK (award sponsors). Photo by Robin Crossley Photographer


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Island Echo has been named Micro Business of the Year at the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for Excellence 2019. 

Over 400 people made their way to Cowes Yacht Haven last Friday (18th October) for the annual awards ceremony, which celebrates success within the Isle of Wight business community.

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It was in the Micro Business of the Year category that Island Echo excelled, clinching the prestigious award after been nominated earlier this year alongside Real Employment Law Advice, Hillbans Pest Control and BeCalmed. Other award winners on the night included the likes of MHI Vestas, The Garlic Farm and Mountbatten.

The award, sponsored and presented by Gurit UK, looked to recognise outstanding micro businesses in any sector, employing up to 9 staff. Judges from the Island, mainland and other countries looked for enterprise and sustainable growth within a market or sector, as well as looking at future strategy and potential for further growth.

Darren Toogood, Publisher and Editor of Island Echo, says:

“It is a real honour to be named Micro Business of the Year and this is something I am incredibly proud of, especially as we are an Island-based business working for the local community.

“I must first thank all of our clients, readers and mentors for making this possible. I would also like to say thank you to the team at the Isle of Wight Chamber for hosting such a fantastic awards evening.

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“I was certainly the youngest person to be collecting an award on Friday, as well as being the smallest business in terms of staffing. That hasn’t prevented Island Echo from growing at a rapid rate since 2012 and there are no signs of that growth halting anytime soon!

“Over the past 12-24 months we have seen exceptional growth with a 232% increase in turnover, alongside a 103.6% increase in page views between June 2018 and June 2019. In addition, we are now firmly established as number 1 for ‘Isle of Wight news’ on Google and are arguably the go-to website for local news.

“Without a doubt we are leading the way against our competitors and this award really cements the fantastic work taking place here at Island Echo. Over the coming months we look to expand the team and increase the output of our now award-winning news service to 400 articles a month”.

It has been a positive year for Island Echo, joining the Independent Community News Network in May and also receiving accreditation to Hampshire Constabulary. In October’s edition of Island Business Magazine the news of a bumper summer season was reported alongside a background feature on Darren, who will be attending the News:Rewired conference in London next month.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Congratulations Darren.

You provide a valuable and well run local news site that has become a part of Island life.

A much needed tonic to the dire County Press




Pressed the send button without finishing… congratulations island echo!! The comment below says it all!

Sheena warder

Well done guys!! Couldn.t agree more your much more informed and up to date than the county press.

Keepit Going

The fact is this is the website people go to for the latest news as it gets reported here very quickly. Outside of this site it’s a bit of a Marmite story in that you either love or loathe. Though I expect much upset that you may read elsewhere comes from straw chewing yokels still in shock at seeing news less than a week old on a medium other than paper. Good luck I say. After all whilst the historical County Press never raced to embrace the web it has been way beyond dire for years now. It’s just too… Read more »

peter gruner

Yes, well done Darren.



Well done, all your up to the minute reporting is paying off, excellent site, keep it up

Emma b

I agree. Island echo is always my go to for up to date info. Xx

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