The competition was arranged in partnership with Southend United Football Club as part of Small Business Saturday.
Companies were encouraged to attract customers with special offers and imaginative Christmas displays, with six worthy winners chosen from Eastwood, Leigh, Westcliff, Southend, Southchurch, and Thorpe Bay/Shoebury.
Their prizes include an advert in a Southend United match programme, a feature on the club’s website and a picture with Southend United Manager, Phil Brown.
Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development at Southend Council, said: “We are very proud of our small firms in Southend and are delighted that so many took part in Small Business Saturday – an excellent national campaign.
“The entries for the Best Festive Business Competition were a terrific boost to the whole event.
“There were some marvellously creative ideas among the decorations and these really added to the momentum of Southend’s Christmas countdown.”
Over 90 local businesses took part Small Business Saturday, a national initiative to encourage residents to shop local and support small businesses in their communities on the day and beyond.
Meet the winners and read below about the ideas behind their festive displays. For more details about the firms themselves, visit www.businessonsea.co.uk
Eastwood - Artability
Artability is a day provision committed to creating a working environment and development opportunities for adults with learning difficulties. Service Users were fully involved in all aspects of the window display. The inspiration came from an old chimney sweep in the shop. From this, the trainees drew a sketch of chimneys with Santa and his reindeers travelling in the sky overhead. The display was then made using paper mache and cardboard."
Leigh - Scape Interiors
Our display followed two themes this year, both ran through each side of the shop. Our 'Oliver Twist' window was created to evoke the traditional memories of Christmas. Our other window was inspired by the film 'Frozen'. The Winter Wonderland featured polar bears, white reindeers and penguins lit up with hundreds of lights.
Westcliff - Halo Hair & Beauty
Our festive display was a vintage setting with a modern day twist. We all involved ourselves with the spirit of Christmas by dressing up as Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter's Tea Party. On Small Business Saturday we raised £170 for Cedar Hall School. We’ve also been collecting toys for underprivileged children via ‘THE FAMILY ACTION BLIF PROJECT’ and have been amazed by the generosity of our clients."
Southend - Costa Couture Cakes
We wanted our displays to have a festive WOW factor. We displayed a small gingerbread village in our shop window and it certainly attracted customers. We were given the opportunity to display a grander scale model of this in the Victoria Shopping Centre's Santa's grotto. We decided to donate the display in support of Cancer Research UK, who are running the grotto this year.
Southchurch - Blades Hair Company
We ourselves use a lot of the local businesses because we understand the effects of supporting each other. We got inspiration for our festive displays from the ever popular Disney's Frozen! Everyone loves snow and we wanted the salon to look understated with a dusting of snowflakes."
Thorpe Bay - Quinn's of Thorpe Bay
For my festive display I used glass, white, silver and feathers to create the look of a winter wonderland!