NI firms win nationwide awards for exports and employee health drive
A construction firm in Co Antrim and a dairy and health food firm in Co Armagh have won awards at the British Chambers of Commerce's annual awards.
Flynn, which is based in Dunmurry, won the national health and wellbeing award for its policies for taking care of staff, while Linwoods won the exporter of the year title at the high-profile event at the Brewery in London.
The Chamber Business Awards, which took place on Thursday, are one of the most high-profile awards programmes in the UK. The firms' success on the national stage followed their recognition at the Northern Ireland awards earlier this year.
Dairy and bakery firm Linwoods in Armagh, which exports healthfood products including flaxseed around the world, was praised for its use of consumer and market research.
Flynn - formerly known as Maurice Flynn & Sons - was recognised for its Boost initiative for employees and contractors focusing on priorities such as physical activity, stress and mental health.
Analysis of the initiative showed it helped reduce absenteeism, improved morale and reduced injuries.
Ann McGregor, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: "The Chamber Business Awards is considered one of the UK's most hotly contested and prestigious business awards and provide the perfect platform for local businesses to establish themselves on a local and national stage. We are delighted that Flynn and Linwoods have received the recognition and profile they deserve by seeing off competition from a number of firms across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales."
Aidan Flynn, managing director at Flynn, said: "We decided to change outdated behaviours through our Flynn-Boost strategy which encourages all staff to avail of health information days, health charity presentations, and individual medical assessments, all of which we have brought onto site.
"If a regional family business like ours can do this, it shows what could be done more widely."
Patrick Woods, director at Linwoods, said: "As a business, exporting is at the heart of everything we do, and we've invested heavily in recent years to ensure that we continue to innovate and develop our product offering while pushing ourselves to expand into new markets.
"We take great pride in the quality of products we offer our customers, at home and abroad, and we're thrilled to have been recognised with this prestigious accolade.
"Gaining recognition at events such as the British Chamber Awards provides an independent seal of approval."