Final call for small businesses to enter BEFTAs 2018

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  • Time is running out for local small businesses and individuals to enter the 2018 Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards as the closing date for entries, Friday 27th April, fast approaches.

    Open to businesses based in Northern Ireland with 50 employees or less, top performers across sectors including technology, agri food, manufacturing and tourism will be recognised as well as a headline ‘Small Business of the Year’ award winner. With 14 different categories, there will also be awards for Northern Ireland’s leading small business exporter, most innovative and customer focused businesses. 

    Winners will be crowned at a gala awards evening on Thursday, 31st May at Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel and entry details are available online at:

    There are fourteen awards categories: 

    Small Business Marketing Award
    Open to companies in all sectors of the local business community, this award sets out to recognise and showcase the organisation which best uses marketing – including advertising, PR or the strategic use of digital platforms and social media - to enhance business performance across the board.

    Innovative Business of the Year Award
    Open to companies operating in any business sector, this award will go to the organisation which best illustrates the most effective use of innovation through investment in innovative practices, leading edge products and/or services to contribute to overall business success.

    Start-Up Business of the Year Award
    This award will recognise Northern Ireland’s most promising start-up enterprise. The award will go to a young company of one year old or less since establishment which, in the view of the judging panel, best illustrates what can be achieved by start-up businesses across any sector here in Northern Ireland.

    Community Contribution Award
    Despite smaller budgets, corporate responsibility plays a role for small businesses in Northern Ireland. This special award will recognise the best example of how small businesses here can help to make a difference in the communities they serve.

    Hospitality & Tourism Business of the Year Award
    A special category aimed directly at Northern Ireland’s growing number of small tourism and hospitality-related business enterprises, including pubs, restaurants, cafes, smaller hotels, tourism activity businesses and transport and travel providers.

    Family Business of the Year
    A new addition to the line-up for 2018, the Family Business of the Year category is open to all businesses (less than 50 employees) which remain in family ownership and are based here in Northern Ireland.

    Manufacturing Business of the Year Award
    A category open to all small businesses engaged directly in the manufacture of products for sale in Northern Ireland and in export markets. The judges will look for evidence of research and development and innovation in manufacturing.

    Exporter of the Year
    An award which will recognise the top achieving exporting company from Northern Ireland’s small business community, recognising sales achievement in all markets outside of Northern Ireland itself, including both the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

    Independent Retailer of the Year Award
    This award will recognise a leading player from Northern Ireland’s traditionally strong independently-owned retail sector. The category is open to locally-owned retail businesses, including both single site retailers and independent retail groups who meet the overall Small Business Awards criteria, i.e. 50 employees or less. The judging panel will look for evidence of innovation, strong business performance and both customer focus and customer satisfaction.

    Healthcare Business of the Year Award
    Another specialist category, aimed at small business enterprises in the healthcare field here in Northern Ireland. This category is open to all business-led healthcare related organisations including opticians, dental practices and enterprises such as care homes for the elderly.

    Agri Food Business of the Year Award
    Northern Ireland’s leading small business operating in the agri food sector, to include food and drink producers, farm-based enterprises and companies providing products and services to the agri-food industry here.

    Technology Business of the Year Award
    This award is open to all small businesses based in Northern Ireland who provide products and/ or services in the wider technology field, including IT services, software development, technology product innovation and consultancy.

    Customer Focus Award
    Our judging panel will single out the local small business which most effectively brings to life best practice in customer service across all of its operations. The judges will look for clear evidence of customer satisfaction.

    Small Business of the Year Award 
    The small business enterprise of 50 employees or less which, in the opinion of the judges, exemplifies best practice and achievement across the board. Entries for this premier award category can be made directly and winning entries in all other categories will also be considered.

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