SMALL businesses are the lifeblood of the economy – and they often achieve big successes. A good example of this is Silchester business Zapkut run by husband-and-wife team Keith and Nicky Bunker.

Collecting the award, Keith paid a moving tribute to his wife who was recovering from a shoulder operation.

Relieved that Nicky is making a good recovery, he also paid tribute to everyone who treated his wife, saying: “The treatment at Basingstoke hospital was superb.”

Keith has developed and manufactures a low-cost vertical saw which has proved to be a winner with smaller businesses.

“We are very much focused on export,” said Keith who foresaw the recession well ahead of many.

In response to the difficult market conditions, Zapkut have developed new products which have been sold all over the world.

“We’ve now changed completely and renewed all our products, and brought in new ones,” explained Keith.

“And we’ve really got the cost down so that we are now very, very competitive worldwide.

“We hold patents for the only vertical panel saw in the world. We are growing our potential world market, and we have brought all of our manufacturing back to the UK, using a manufacturer in the Midlands and another one in Tadley.

Presenting this award was Paul Smith, chairman of Celador – the company behind the multi-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire and worldwide television sensation Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Paul is also chairman of Breeze FM, which has recently taken over Basingstoke radio station Kestrel FM, which sponsored this category.

Congratulating Keith and Zapkut on the award achievement, Paul said: “It sounds like an excellent and outstanding company. The wonderful thing about small businesses is that they go on to be big ones.”

Keith is no stranger to the INSPIRE Business Awards as Zapkut won Micro Business of the Year in 2009.