Belfast Telegraph

Clock ticking for entries to 2018 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards


By Margaret Canning

There is just a week left for businesses to apply for the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.

The deadline for entries for the event is next Thursday, March 8, at 12pm.

This year there will be two new categories joining 11 others on the list. One will focus on how businesses look after their employees, Excellence in Workplace Health and Well-being, while the Retailer of the Year Award will be presented to a store that excels in customer service.

The awards will be shortlisted by a judging panel of top businesspeople and announced during a black tie ceremony at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast, on Thursday, April 26.

Last year's overall winner of was Newry-based MJM Marine, which also won the Excellence in Exporting Award.

Others winners included GCRM-Belfast, Henry Brothers, Novosco, M&M Contractors and EquiNutritive.

Robbie Kerr, laboratory director of GCRM-Belfast, a provider of private fertility treatment, said that winning the SME Healthcare Business of the Year Award was "a significant milestone" in the growth of the company, helping to strengthen its position in both Northern Ireland and expand its reach in the Republic.

He said: "In 2017/18 we have significantly grown our client base, and in turn our staff levels, due to the increased exposure obtained through last year's awards.

"I would encourage other businesses to fully engage with the awards as taking part was a significant milestone in the growth of our company."

Novosco managing director Patrick McAliskey said that winning the IT Company of the Year award last year had helped attract new talent to the business.

"Winning IT Company of the Year in the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards has helped us highlight the work that we do for organisations from Premier League football clubs to world-leading companies, and to showcase that Novosco really is a fantastic place to work."

Ulster Bank head of Northern Ireland Richard Donnan said: "2017 was an active year for the business community in Northern Ireland. At Ulster Bank, we saw corporate lending grow by 15% and small business drawdowns increase by 29%.

"I strongly encourage business people to take a look at the categories and consider entering themselves or their company for an award.

"The benefits of doing so are significant, including the chance for increased profile, the opportunity to boost the morale of your team, and the potential to reach new customers or new employees.

"This year's winners will join a long list of prestigious companies that range from innovative start-ups to major names like MJM Marine, First Derivatives, Novosco and Moy Park."

Richard McClean, managing director of the Belfast Telegraph, added: "The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank are a wonderful opportunity to highlight your company's success and winning a business award is great boost for any business.

"It's wonderful to read in the Belfast Telegraph's business pages that many of our previous winners continue to go from strength to strength, so my advice would be to get working on your entry if you haven't already submitted it.

"We look forward to an evening celebrating the success stories of companies of all sizes and from all sectors of Northern Ireland business."

Award categories

1. Excellence in Marketing

2. Excellence in Exporting

3. Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership

4. Excellence in Innovation

5. Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media

6. Young Businessperson of the Year

7. IT Company or Team of the Year

8. Retailer of the Year

9. Excellence in Workplace Health and Well-being

10. Best Established Small/Medium Business

11. Emerging Business/Start up of the Year

12. Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

13. SME Healthcare Business of Year

... and our judging panel

The judging panel this year will again be chaired by economist Professor John Simpson, who will be joined by deputy chair Dr Joanne Stuart, director of development, Catalyst Inc; Richard Donnan, head of Ulster Bank, Northern Ireland; Ann McGregor, chief executive, NI Chamber of Commerce; Kirsty McManus, director, IOD; Edel O'Neill, reader in management, Ulster University Business School; Damien Duffy, director of development, Belfast Metropolitan College; Colin Stutt, social enterprise specialist and John Hansen, partner in charge, KPMG.

Two special judges' awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award and Overall Business of the Year sponsored by Ulster Bank, will also be presented.

How to enter for this year's event

- Full details on categories and criteria and how to enter are available at

- The closing date for entries is Thursday, March 8, at noon

- The gala awards dinner takes place on Thursday, April 26, at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast

- A table of 10 costs £1,400 plus Vat, while individual places are available at £150 plus Vat

To book, please contact Karen McGarvey at Belfast Telegraph on, tel: 028 9026 4345 or

Belfast Telegraph

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