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There are 11 categories to enter in this year's Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank

By Margaret Canning

Companies across Northern Ireland are being urged to enter the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.

Companies across Northern Ireland are being urged to enter across 11 categories, three of them new this year - IT Company or Team of the Year, Emerging Business/Start Up of the Year and SME Healthcare Business of theYear before Friday, March 17.

The awards will be shortlisted by a judging panel of top businesspeople and announced during a glittering ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Shaw's Bridge, Belfast on May 4.

>>Download your entry form here<<

Last year's winners included Overall Business of the Year, Henderson Group and Brian McConville, owner of MJM Group, who was crowned Businessperson of the Year.

Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank head of NI, urged firms to take the opportunity to tell the judging panel about their achievements.

"For those companies thinking about entering, there are some compelling reasons to do so.

"Winning a Belfast Telegraph Business Award is a sign of quality, and provides significant profile to market your business to both new and existing customers.

"It can also be a great morale booster for staff and a way of attracting and retaining the best talent for your workforce. We are pleased to be supporting these awards."

Mr Donnan said the awards "champion an enterprise-friendly culture, are welcoming of new ideas and positive about the future for local business".

Richard McClean, managing director of the Belfast Telegraph, added: "The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank are set to be a highlight for the business community in Northern Ireland this year. They are a great opportunity to shine a light on your company's achievements.

"We're thrilled that the scope for entry is even wider this year with our new categories and we're looking forward to hearing even more local success stories across an even wider range of sectors.

"If you haven't already submitted your entry, it's definitely time to get working on it."

As well as winning the top award on the night, Henderson Group in Mallusk also triumphed in the Excellence in Innovation category, while other winners included Ground Espresso Bars, Galgorm Resort and Spa, AJ Power, and Upstream.

Martin Agnew, managing director of the Henderson Group, encouraged other firms to enter. He said: "For us, winning at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards was recognition of a lot of hard work by teams in various parts of the business, but it also recognised our work with our excellent local suppliers and was testament to our great customers in the heart of the community.

"It is wonderful to be recognised by your peers and by the industry in general for your achievements.

"But in a wider economic sense, the Business Awards are important because they stimulate an entrepreneurial spirit and are a good platform to recognise the efforts of businesses from all different sectors." 

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