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Record entries for Business Awards in their 20th year

Enthusiasm reflects resilience of the economy: judges


Ulster Bank’s Kenton Hilman

Ulster Bank’s Kenton Hilman

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Ulster Bank’s Kenton Hilman

The 2021 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank have drawn a record level of entries, judges have said.

Thursday of last week was the closing date to enter 14 categories, including the new category of Special Recognition Award for Climate Action, supported by Ulster Bank.

The presentation of the awards’ winners will be made next month on a date to be confirmed.

Kenton Hilman, head of corporate and property banking, Ulster Bank NI, said the record entries suggested a spirit of positivity among businesses here.

The bank is supporting the awards as headline sponsor for the fifth year in a row.

Judging takes place on May 20, and the shortlist will be announced in Business Telegraph on May 25.

Mr Hilman said: “As we look towards economic recovery, it is extremely encouraging to see that so many companies are keen to showcase their work and highlight their successes by entering the awards.

“The record entry levels this year help highlight that the business community has not only been resilient during the pandemic but is also looking to move forward positively towards the recovery.

“Indeed, there are so many companies that have entered the awards this year that represent the kind of enterprising attitude that our economy needs.”

The Belfast Telegraph Business Awards are the longest-established event of their kind in Northern Ireland, and are now in their 20th year.

Margaret Canning, Business Editor of the Belfast Telegraph, said: “We were delighted to see the record number of entries for this year’s Business Awards, and are pleased to have the support of Ulster Bank for the fifth year in a row.

“When you consider everything which companies and employees have been through over the last year, it’s encouraging that there is determination and drive among firms to celebrate their successes.

“We’d like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to complete their entries, and look forward to announcing the shortlist of winners in a few weeks’ time.”

The sponsors of the 14 categories in this year’s Business Awards are Wilson Nesbitt, Asda, Retail NI, Invest NI, Ulster University Business School, Hastings Hotels, Sparq, Ulster Bank, Queen’s University, OSG Cloud, Smurfit Kappa, Belfast Academy of Marketing, Prescient Data Centre and the Scottish Provident Building.

Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean of Ulster University Business School, chairman of the judging panel, said the awards were an important opportunity for firms to share their stories of how they had persevered through the Covid-19 crisis.

“Everyone in business needs the morale boost of talking about their achievements.”

Belfast Telegraph Business Awards Judging Panel 2021

Professor Mark Durkin, UUBS (Chair)

Professor Ian McConnell, PwC

Dr David Paulson, QUB

Roger Pollen, FSB

Kirsty McManus, IoD

Professor Neil Gibson, EY

Kenton Hilman, Ulster Bank, Head of Corporate and Property Banking

Ann McGregor, NICC

Claire McKee, Partner, Clarendon Executive

Neil Logan, Partner, Wilson Nesbitt

Margaret Canning, Business Editor, Belfast Telegraph

Dr Darryl Cummins, Head of Management, Leadership and Marketing, UU Business School

John Ferris, Regional Ecosystem Manager, Ulster Bank.

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