Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Business Awards take off for 2013

By Margaret Canning

The Belfast Telegraph’s prestigious Business Awards 2013 — backed by overall sponsor British Airways — will set a new gold standard for companies, business leaders and industry in Northern Ireland

Click here to print your entry form for the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2013

The Belfast Telegraph is proud to launch the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2013 in association with British Airways. The awards recognise the achievements of Northern Ireland’s businesses as they strive for excellence in the face of a difficult economic environment at home and abroad.

Businesses across all sectors are now invited to enter any of the categories listed in the panel —though the judges will also award the non-entry titles of Businessperson of the Year and Outstanding Business of the Year.

In a nod to the particularly acute challenges facing our retailers and the imaginative ways in which they are confounding those problems, we have created a new category of Most Progressive and Compelling Retail Outlet.

Over the next three months, Business Telegraph will focus on each separate category — and each category sponsor will explain why they have chosen to get involved in the awards.

Aspiring businesses have until February 28 to submit their entries. Applications will be considered by a panel of judges, headed up by economist John Simpson.

Shortlisted companies will be revealed at the beginning of April and the winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Culloden Hotel in April.

John Simpson said: “The Business Awards now have a unique place in the business community and I hope that we will continue to get the increasing support that we have seen in recent years.

“We set an important standard to show the successes and achievements of so many local businesses.

“This year’s awards will follow a similar pattern to previous years but we have created one new category to reflect the importance of retailing in the Northern Ireland economy and hope we will be able to reflect the efforts of so many different retailers to show it can play a major part in the support business activity.”

The awards’ overall sponsor is British Airways.

Simon Daly, the airline’s manager for Ireland, said: “We’d like to encourage all businesses to take time and enter the 2013 Business Awards.

“Not only will well-deserved success at the event provide a strong platform to highlight the merits of your own business, but the awards ceremony itself also serves to emphasise the strength of Northern Ireland businesses.

“British Airways wishes you every success with your entries to the awards.”

In last year’s awards Belfast-based Allstate Northern Ireland was named Outstanding Business of the Year.

The company provides software development and outsourcing services to its US parent company.

Allstate also took the gong for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility — and Padraic Sheerin from the company was named Young Businessperson of the Year.

Bro McFerran, managing director of Allstate Northern Ireland, said: “2012 was a great year for Allstate Northern Ireland as the company continued to grow despite the current economic climate, and receiving the Belfast Telegraph awards for Outstanding Business of the Year and for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility was the icing on the cake.

“It was also great to see Padraic Sheerin winning Young Business Person of the Year, someone who has made a great impact to the business in a very short time.

“Allstate Northern Ireland works hard to provide the right environment for its employees and to attract the top talent in order to provide high quality software development services and business process outsourcing solutions to support its US parent's global operations.

“These awards rubber-stamp that we are doing the right things and are an accolade for all of our employees who make a difference to the business.

“I’m particularly proud of our history for volunteering within the community and the amount of fundraising our employees do each year.

“We have won over 90 HR and people management awards since our inception in 1999 for our commitment to being one of the best places to work.

“These awards help to raise Allstate’s profile in Northern Ireland, enhancing our employer brand and giving a sense of pride within the organisation. Awards like this motivate us to strive to do more and we look forward to doing that in 2013.” Other companies who scooped awards last year included Firmus Energy, CEM, Autoline Insurance, Fireglass Direct Ireland, Northgate Managed Services, Hughes Insurance, Almac and McCue Fit-Out.

Categories and sponsors

Excellence in Marketing – Ulster Business School

Excellence in Exporting – Danske Bank

Excellence in Development of Management and Leadership – Department for Employment and Learning

Excellence in Innovation – Invest NI

Outstanding Service to Business

Most Progressive and Compelling Retail Outlet – new category

Young Businessperson of the Year – Bibby Financial Services

Excellence in Technology – Cleaver Fulton Rankin

Best Small/Medium-sized Business – Invest NI

Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility – Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge

Non-category entries, in association with British Airways: Businessperson of the Year; Outstanding Business of the Year