Belfast Telegraph

Let us be your link to winning big at the Business Awards

Martin Agnew of Henderson Group, Business of the Year winner 2016
Martin Agnew of Henderson Group, Business of the Year winner 2016
John Simpson

By John Simpson

Good businesses do not develop without effort, skill and satisfying their customers. In Northern Ireland there are many businesses growing stronger in their marketplace - more than is usually acknowledged. Many are unsung but can gain greater recognition, attract more customers and demonstrate that mix of quality, performance and reputation that gives enduring success.

Getting a Belfast Telegraph Business Award - as we run the awards in partnership with Ulster Bank - is a well-publicised endorsement of the achievements of a business. Together with photographs and newspaper reports, it offers an invaluable base for widely acknowledged and independent reputational enhancement. To be able to claim that your business received an award in 2017 as among the best for innovation, or IT, or exports, or management and leadership, is a welcome endorsement which merits repetition.

Newspapers and other media outlets have a capacity to stimulate the interest of their readers and viewers on a daily basis, not always reporting good news. Business awards are good news.

There is an obvious tension in making a decision to enter these awards. Yes, it is an effort to make the effort. Making the effort to tell the judges what you already know about yourselves could seem repetitious. But, what you already know is known only to a few closely involved people. Would you like to make sure that the much wider newspaper audience has a better appreciation of your endeavours and successes? Northern Ireland has a growing number of successful achievers in a diverse range of businesses, many succeeding quietly and with little acknowledgement. Your business could stay in that sheltered and unseen haven. A small effort to come 'upfront' can be rewarding and stimulating. Business does not need to be the home for shrinking violets.

This year, as the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards reflect the increasing diversity of business opportunities, the judges are looking for entries from additional specialisms. The search is on for the businesses which are best in applying digital technology or developing the social media. Other businesses are invited to bid as offering the best IT company or team. And, facing a changing world, we want to hear from the SME which is contributing to healthcare.

The business awards are open to a more diverse range of businesses than ever before. Do you have a business that would qualify as a notable start-up, or emerging venture? Go to the web and download the details.

Our panel of judges reflects a range of skills and involvement that allows us to make a well informed assessment of businesses that send an application. My colleagues come from organisations such as Belfast Met, Catalyst-Inc, the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Deloitte, PwC, Ulster University and Ulster Bank. Businesses making applications will put these judges on test. Do we really have a large number of 'best in class' people who are ready to compete in this challenging, stimulating and friendly environment?

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Entries do not need to be complicated. Tell us about your business in simple persuasive terms. We are ready to be your link to a rewarding experience.

John Simpson is chairman of the panel of judges in the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank Full details on how to enter are available at The closing date for entries is Friday, March 17 at noon. The gala awards dinner takes place on May 4 at the Crowne Plaza, Shaw's Bridge, Belfast. A table of 10 costs £1,300 plus VAT while individual places are available at £140 plus VAT. For information or to book a table contact Andrea Kennedy at JComms on mail@ or call 028 9076 006

Belfast Telegraph