A south Essex pub has been named in the top 20 family businesses in the UK.

Thousands of nominations came in for small, family-run shops, pubs, bars and cafes around the UK through shopping platform, ShopAppy.

Little Thurrock-based pub The Ship made the Top 20 and is now in with a chance of being named ShopAppy Favourite Family Business of the Year 2022.

The Ship was repeatedly praised by customers for its excellent service, personal staff, value for money and role in the community during and after the pandemic.

Dr Jackie Mulligan, founder of Shopappy, commented: “We received thousands of nominations for family-run businesses around the UK and each one of them should be applauded for the value they bring to their local communities.

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“Those that made our Top 20 received outstanding nominations and endless praise from their customers.

“The Ship is clearly a massive hit with people in Little Thurrock and everyone who works there deserves to be congratulated.”

Sam Foster, The Ship, added: “We’re thrilled to have been named one of the UK’s Top 20 family businesses.

“It’s been a challenging couple of years with the pandemic but, thanks to our regular customers, we’ve managed to see it out.

“We’re glad that we manage to put a smile on our customers’ faces because they do the same on ours.”

One of the nominations was: "The publican went above and beyond during the tough time of Covid, donating food, opening a pub shop, feeding the homeless and those volunteering or working through helping Covid patients."

The winner of Favourite Family Business of the Year will be announced on June 27.