It’s all Yelo at Small Business Awards

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    • Local equipment manufacturer wins ‘Small Business of the Year’ crown
    • Top small business performers from across Northern Ireland recognised for innovation

    A technology company based in Carrickfergus that manufacturing automated test equipment for the photonics and electronics industries, has been named Northern Ireland's top small business.

     Yelo, who export their test systems to markets across the world including the USA and Asia, lifted the ‘Small Business of the Year’ crown at the third annual Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards held recently at Belfast's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

    The Awards, which are organised by Business Eye magazine and sponsored by First Trust Bank, aims to shine a light on Northern Ireland’s small business sector and recognises its top performers across 13 different categories. The Awards are open to all businesses in Northern Ireland with less than 50 employees.

    Yelo was also named ‘Manufacturing Business of the Year’ while Belfast-based web solutions specialists Flint Studios came out on top in the ‘Technology Business of the Year’ category.

    Bespoke interiors specialist, Lignum Interiors, was named ‘Exporter of the Year’ in recognition of their impressive growth in new markets and Montgomery Food Consulting lifted the ‘Agri-Food Business of the Year’ accolade.

    The award for Customer Focus went to Craigavon-based Industry Training Services with Belfast recruitment agency, MCS, taking the Community Contribution title.

    Speaking about the importance of the awards, Head of First Trust Bank, Des Moore, said;

    “Together, small and medium businesses and self-employed people account for more than 75% of turnover across NI’s private sector. As well as contributing significantly to Northern Ireland’s economic fortunes, they have a momentous impact on the social and cultural fabric of our local communities; supporting the supply chain, employing local people and engaging with schools and charities.”

    “It was particularly gratifying to see not just a sectoral but a regional spread of businesses taking part. From Ballymena to Belfast and Armagh to Aughnacloy, we received entries from companies working across many industries. While they may have come from different parts of the province and from different sectors, they all shared a common denominator; namely an appetite to innovate and grow. On behalf of First Trust Bank, I offer my congratulations to all the entrants and winners.”

    Brenda Buckley, Publisher of Business Eye, added:

    “We have been delighted with the success of the Small Business Awards over the past two years, and we're even more pleased with how they've grown year on year. We received a really strong entry from a wide variety of companies based right across Northern Ireland.

    “They are already an integral part of the business calendar here, and we've every reason to believe that they will go from strength to strength.”

    The Head of First Trust Bank Des Moore (left) and Brenda Buckley from Business Eye (right) present Yelo with the BEFTA for ‘Small Business of the Year’. Pictured from Yelo are: Dylan J Burke, Richard Furey, David Sinclair and Tracy Mearns.


    Full List of Winners

    Agri Food Business of the Year
    Winner: Montgomery Food Consulting

    Manufacturing Business of the Year 
    Highly Commended: Francis Dinsmore
    Winner: Yelo

    Hospitality & Tourism Business of the Year
    Highly Commended: Larchfield Estate
    Winner: The Bull & Ram, Ballynahinch

    Healthcare Business of the Year
    Highly Commended: Healthcare Ireland
    Winner: Cathedral Eye Clinic

    Technology Business of the Year
    Highly Commended: Leaf
    Winner: Flint Studios

    Small Business Marketing Award
    Highly Commended: i3 Digital

    Start-Up Business of the Year
    Highly Commended: Bluezone Technologies
    Winner: Copeland Spirits

    Customer Focus Award
    Highly Commended: Larchfield Estate
    Winner: Industry Training Services

    Community Contribution Award
    Highly Commended: Queen's Film Theatre
    Winner: MCS

    Exporter of the Year Award
    Highly Commended: AES Global
    Winner: Lignum Interiors 

    Innovative Business of the Year
    Highly Commended: AC Automation & Fast Engineering
    Winner: Salt DNA

    Independent Retailer of the Year
    Highly Commended: Oasis Travel
    Winner: Cunningham Butchers

    Small Business of the Year
    Highly Commended:
    Winner: Yelo

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