Belfast Telegraph

Awards will be a statement of confidence in tough times

By Heather McGarrigle

The top judge in the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards has described the awards as a valuable chance to “show confidence” in difficult economic times.

There are 11 awards up for grabs in 2011, including the new non-entry category of Businessperson of the Year and the overall title of Outstanding Business of the Year.

Winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony in the Ramada Hotel in Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast on Thursday, April 7.

Economist John Simpson is chair of the judging panel. He said: “These awards are not only a chance to show confidence in business performance, but are also an opportunity to generate staff interest and loyalty.”

Mr Simpson said that participating in the awards was an excellent way to show the wider community that Northern Ireland business was still going strong. He said a tough business climate should not deter companies from entering.

“For businesses facing problems, entering the awards can in fact be part of a recovery programme.

“It can be a way of showing that the firm is thinking carefully about what they’re doing and how to succeed.”

Chaired by Mr Simpson, the judging panel will include Brian Ambrose, chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport; Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest Northern Ireland; Professor Rodney McAdam, head of the department of marketing, entrepreneurship and strategy at University of Ulster; Ann McGregor, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce; Brenda Morgan, head of sales Ireland at bmi; Paul Rooney, chair of Business in the Community and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Joanne Stuart, chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Categories for Business Awards

1. Outstanding Business Team of the Year

2. Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Progressive Building Society

3. Excellence in Exporting

4. Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership, sponsored by Made Not Born

5. Excellence in Innovation

6. Outstanding Service to Business

7. Young Businessperson of the Year

8. Excellence in Technology

9. Best Small/Medium Business, sponsored by Yell

10. Businessperson of the Year, a non-entry category which will be awarded by the judging panel based on an |individual’s contribution to the Northern Ireland economy

11. Outstanding Business of the Year; the overall winner will be selected by the judges from the winners of all the |individual categories

For a full list of the rationale, criteria, rules and conditions for entries go to For sponsorship opportunities or more information telephone Andrea Clements of JPR on 028 9076 0066 or email

Belfast Telegraph