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Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2020 launches with two new categories

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Tony Convery and Brendan Maynes from CDE with the Outstanding Business of the Year award, presented by Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank, and Gail Walker, Belfast Telegraph

Tony Convery and Brendan Maynes from CDE with the Outstanding Business of the Year award, presented by Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank, and Gail Walker, Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2020

Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2020

Tony Convery and Brendan Maynes from CDE with the Outstanding Business of the Year award, presented by Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank, and Gail Walker, Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2020 in partnership with Ulster Bank are launched today.

And in this year's awards, two new categories have been added - Agri-Food Company of the Year, and Best Large Company of the Year.

The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony at Belfast's Crowne Plaza Hotel on April 30, hosted by BBC journalist Mark Simpson.

And a live on-stage competition in which entrepreneurs pitch for a cash injection of £4,000 will also feature.

It's the fourth year in a row that Ulster Bank has supported the awards, the most prestigious in the Northern Ireland business calendar.

Mark Crimmins, Ulster Bank head of Northern Ireland, said: "The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank are very much part of the fabric of the local economy, and this year's awards will be even more reflective of Northern Ireland's business community and its successes, with the introduction of two new categories - one for agri-food businesses and the other dedicated to larger companies with more than 100 employees.

"Along with the other categories, these will recognise the very best firms in Northern Ireland during recent years across a range of sectors, including their innovation, growth and achievements both at home and abroad.

"The awards will also provide the opportunity to celebrate the up and coming companies and future stars through the Start-Up and Emerging Business Category and through a pitching competition for entrepreneurs on the night of the awards."

Sarah Little, publishing director at INM NI, said: "I am delighted to launch the 2020 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.

"It's the fourth year of our partnership with Ulster Bank, and there's no doubt our awards are the biggest and best in the business calendar.

"Northern Ireland business is stronger than ever and the restoration of the Executive has brought a renewed optimism to the economy.

"We want to encourage all ambitious businesses out there to apply for our awards and join us on what's sure to be a fabulous night in Belfast's Crowne Plaza Hotel on April 30."

The judging panel for the award is chaired by Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean, Ulster University Business School.

The closing date for entries is noon on March 19.

Meet the panel of judges

Professor Mark Durkin (chair), Ulster University Business School

Professor Ian McConnell, PwC

Professor Geoff Simmons, QUB Management School

Roger Pollen, FSB

Professor Neil Gibson, EY

Mark Crimmins, Ulster Bank (title sponsors)

Ann McGregor, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer McKeever, CEO, Airporter

Fearghal O'Loan, Tughans

Kirsty McManus, IoD

Awards categories for 2020

1. Excellence in Marketing

2. Excellence in Exporting

3. Excellence in the Development of Management & Leadership

4. Excellence in Innovation

5. Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media

6. Retailer of the Year

7. Young Business Person of the Year

8. Agri-food Company of the Year (new category)

9. Excellence in Workplace Health and Well-being

10. Best Start-up or Emerging Business

11. Best Established SME

12. Best Large Company (new category)

13. Excellence in CSR

14. Lifetime Achievement

15. Outstanding Business of the Year

Visit www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ businessawards/enter to enter

Belfast Telegraph