An international jewellery retailer, a bespoke men’s clothier, a world-renowned gin distiller and a social enterprise supporting people with learning difficulties were amongst the winners at Friday’s Belfast Business Awards, with Principal Sponsor, Bank of Ireland UK.
The annual, highly coveted awards ceremony, hosted and organised by Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, are firmly established as a benchmark for excellence in today’s competitive business environment.
There were 19 winners in total, with a further two businesses receiving Highly Commended and one Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the business award world, the glittering ceremony, held in Titanic Belfast, was compered by Sarah Travers and Pete Snodden and welcomed over 400 guests from the world of politics, business and showbiz.
Speaking about the awards, Gordon McElroy, President of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “The Belfast Business Awards have become synonymous with excellence and showcase the very best of business and commerce in Northern Ireland.
“I am proud to stand here as President of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce and to be the first to congratulate these exceptional business people and their organisations, who took home an award this evening.
“We had a record number of entries this year and I know that the independent panel of judges had a very tough job. I would like to further congratulate all the finalists – even to be shortlisted is a fantastic achievement.
“Tonight we have seen representation from well-known big-scale businesses from Ulster Bank who won Best Age-Friendly Business to the smaller independents such as Red Box Studios who won Best Creative Business, to the Wall Group who won the Involvement in the Community Award – we have such a broad spectrum of winners, all of which are doing outstanding things and contributing so positively to the economy of Northern Ireland.
Gordon concluded: “Special recognition has also gone to Sir William Hastings, the Chairman of Hastings Hotel Group who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for the invaluable contribution he has made to tourism and hospitality in Belfast and indeed Northern Ireland.”
Gavin Kennedy, Head of Business Banking, NI commented: “Bank of Ireland UK is delighted be the principal sponsor of The Belfast Business Awards 2017 for the third consecutive year and to be part of the celebrations this evening.
“There has never been a more important time for businesses to showcase the amazing work they are doing on a day-to-day basis.
“The Belfast Business Awards is a perfect platform for them to do just that and receive the recognition and profile they deserve for helping move the economy forward and create employment.
“The Bank of Ireland UK would like to congratulate each and every one of the outstanding and inspirational companies who have taken home awards tonight.”
The winners of the Belfast Business Awards were:
1. Customer Service Excellence, Hospitality Sector – Odyssey Bowl
2. Best New Business – Jawbox Gin
3. Customer Service Excellence, Independent Retailer – Oasis Travel
4. Best Marketing Initiative – Translink
5. Business Growth Award – Argento Jewellery
6. Customer Service Excellence, Professional Business Service – Bell & Company
7. Social Enterprise of the Year – NOW Group
8. Best Family Business – Uberfone Ltd
9. Best Company to Work for Award – Golf Now
10. Best Business Premises – Mount Charles
11. Young Business Person (U30)- Grainne Leathem, Titanic Quarter Ltd
12. Employee of the Year – Jennifer Madden, Belfast Cosmetic Laser Clinic
13. Business Person of the Year – Chris Suitor, Suitor Menswear
14. Involvement in the Community – Wall Group
15. Best Digital Business – ICAN
16. Best Eatery/Coffee Shop (EATERY) – James Street South
17. Best Eatery/Coffee Shop (COFFEE SHOP) – Synge & Byrne (Boucher Rd)
18. Best Creative Business – Red Box Studios
19. Best Age-Friendly Business – Ulster Bank
20. Lifetime Achievement Award – Sir William Hastings
21. Best Eatery/Coffee Shop – Havana Bank Square (HIGHLY COMMENDED)
22. Best Creative Business – Creating Retail Magic (HIGHLY COMMENDED)
Visit www.belfastchamber.com for information on joining Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce.