Customer Service Excellence, Hospitality SectorSponsored by:
This award is open to all hospitality businesses that are committed to offering the highest levels of customer care to each and every customer and who can demonstrate excellence in their customer service. CRITERIA: Entrants must be in the hospitality sector which can include, pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops.
Best New BusinessSponsored by:
Belfast City Council
Open to all businesses that have been founded or are new to Belfast since 1st November 2018.
CRITERIA: Entrants will be asked to explain their business and to demonstrate how they have translated a great idea into a viable and successful business venture. They will also be asked to explain their plans for the future.
Customer Service Excellence, Independent RetailerSponsored by:
This category is specifically for those independently owned retail stores. Not a franchise and there will be less than three stores in Belfast. CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to provide information on how they go the extra mile for their customers and how they deliver excellent customer service which ensures return visits and repeat business.
Family Business of the YearSponsored by:
This category is open to all family owned and run businesses in Belfast.
CRITERIA: Your business must be managed by family members and you must be able to demonstrate the involvement of at least two generations of family members who are currently working in the business.
Customer Service Excellence, Professional Business ServicesSponsored by:
This category is open to all businesses that provide a professional business service in Belfast. This could be, banking, legal, accountancy, HR, recruitment, PR, communications, training providers, strategic advice etc. CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to explain what their professional business service is and demonstrate their commitment to customer service excellence within their particular service provided.
Best Company to Work ForSponsored by:
This award seeks to find those businesses which provide an excellent, supportive, inclusive, secure and nurturing environment for their employees.
CRITERIA: Entrants will be asked to explain their HR policies and the benefits, support structure and other incentives that they provide for their key asset, their employees.
Social Enterprise AwardSponsored by:
Red Box Media
This award will recognise Belfast’s most dynamic and inspiring successful social enterprise. If your organisation strives for business excellence, contributes to society by bringing about economic, technological, social or environmental changes, then this category is for you.
CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to clearly demonstrate how their social enterprise makes a positive impact on a community or the environment in which they operate.
The Ortus Group
Small Business Coach/Mentor of the Year
Business SuccessSponsored by:
Open to all businesses which, since 1st December 2018, can demonstrate growth in a challenging business environment. This may be new markets, products or services.
CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to explain how the growth of the business has impacted on it, be that with new staff, increased turnover or other. You will need to provide facts and figures as part of the answers to the online questions.
Best Marketing InitiativeSponsored by:
Open to all businesses who have delivered a unique marketing initiative which successfully promotes their businesses and impacts on turnover, growth and footfall. CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to explain the marketing concept, actions taken and provide examples of its results.
Business Premises of the YearSponsored by:
This award will seek to reward a business premise design that is fit for purpose, exhibits all-round design and layout excellence and suits the needs and requirements of both staff and customers.
CRITERIA: Entrants will need to explain the ethos behind the design and functionality of the premises, interpret the innovation of design, use of materials and colours. Shortlisted finalists will be visited by appointment to look at further aspects of the premises.
Young Business Person of the Year (U35)Sponsored by:
Open to Belfast’s young entrepreneurs (35 years or under on 28th March 2021) who will have achieved commercial success in building their business or, who hold a strategic and influential position within an existing company.
CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to demonstrate their business prowess and give examples of their successes to date and future plans.
Employee of the YearSponsored by:
Open to an individual within a business who is not the boss. Someone who plays an integral part and contributes to the success of the business; that valued employee who you can’t do without. CRITERIA: This must be an individual and they will not be the business owner. Entrants need to explain who this person is and succinctly communicate their contribution to business. Short-listed finalists will be interviewed by a panel of experts who will want to meet the individual face-to face.
Business Leader of the YearSponsored by:
Open to an individual within a Belfast business. The person will have played a significant role in the development and success of the business. They may also be influential or involved in the wider community or with civic duties. They may or may not be the owner of a business.
CRITERIA: Entrants should be able to demonstrate how the nominee has made a contribution to the wider business community. The winner will demonstrate energy, ambition, skill and vision.
Involvement In The CommunitySponsored by:
Digital Business AwardSponsored by:
This is a business that exists purely in the digital marketplace, either as an online business or the provision and support of online and digital services to other businesses.
CRITERIA: The business must be able to explain its position within the digital market and provide a clear description of it services and how this translates to a successful and sustainable business in Belfast.
Best Eatery/Coffee ShopSponsored by:
ISL Waste Management
Entrants will be asked to select if they are entering (i) Eatery or (ii) Coffee Shop and can only enter one option.
CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to demonstrate how they support local producers, provide excellent and consistent customer service, provide innovative offerings in the food and beverage market and display excellent levels of house-keeping. Short-listed finalists will undergo thorough mystery visits over a number of weeks.
Creative Business AwardSponsored by:
A creative business in Belfast might be a design house, radio/television, production, etc. or you might be an artist, make-up, props for the film industry, fashion designer, music studio, or something else entirely!
CRITERIA: Your business must be able to demonstrate how it is ‘Creative’ and explain the impact and benefits to its clients and customers.
Best Coffee ShopSponsored by:
ISL Waste Management
Dementia Friendly Business AwardSponsored by:
Belfast Health Development Unit
This award is open to all business that go the extra mile to make their products and services dementia-friendly. Becoming dementia-friendly isn’t just good for people living with dementia, it’s good for their family and friends, and its good for your business.
CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to demonstrate how they provide a welcoming environment and good customer care for people living with dementia and their carers
Lifetime Achievement AwardSponsored by:
Bank of Ireland
This prestigious award is in recognition of the outstanding contribution of an individual to the Belfast business community and will be announced on the night. Nominations should be made via a letter of recommendation to the executive committee of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Key Dates for 2018
Thursday 25th January 2018Closing date for all entries:
Midnight on Friday 16th March 2018Judging commences:
Saturday 17th March 2018Shortlist announced:
Monday 26th March 2018Finalist interviews:
Friday 5th April 2019
Gala night details for 2018
Friday 27th April 2018Venue:
St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast