Belfast Business Awards - Recognising Excellence

Belfast Business Awards: Categories

Recognising Excellence


  • Customer Service Excellence, Hospitality Sector

    Sponsored by:
    Power NI

    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.

  • Customer Service Excellence, Independent Retailer

    Sponsored by:
    Andras Hotels

    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.

  • Customer Service Excellence, Professional Business Services

    Sponsored 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 New Business

    Sponsored by:

    Open to all businesses that have been founded or are new to Belfast since 1st November 2016. 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 your plans for the future.

  • Best Social Enterprise / Cooperative Award

    Sponsored by:
    Belfast City Council

    Belfast City Council is delighted to sponsor Best Social Enterprise / Cooperative Award. We’re proud of the great impact social enterprises and cooperatives are having in communities across the city every day. This award recognises that there’s a different way of doing business that can make a real and lasting impact on a community. Growing the economy is a key pillar of the community plan for the city, the Belfast Agenda. Part of the council’s role is to work locally to drive inclusive growth and tackle barriers to economic equality. 
    Belfast: City for business helps to empower ambitious entrepreneurs across the city, expand existing businesses and attract investment into Belfast.
    If you are in the process of starting or have recently started a business, social enterprise and co-operative and need guidance with developing your business strategy, then our support programmes can help you achieve this. 
    Our free tailored business support includes knowledge and insight from business experts, access to free workshops, legal guidance and incentives. 
    Visit for more details.

  • Best Family Business

    Sponsored by:
    Value Cabs

    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.

  • Business Growth

    Sponsored by:
    Grant Thornton

    Open to all businesses which, since 1st December 2016, 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 your 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 Company to Work For

    Sponsored by:
    Willis Insurance

    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.

  • Best Marketing Initiative

    Sponsored by:
    Downtown Radio, Cool FM, Downtown Country

    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.

  • Best Business Premises

    Sponsored by:
    Belfast One

    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 (U30)

    Sponsored by:
    Victoria Square

    Open to Belfast’s young entrepreneurs (30 years or under at 28th February 2019) 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 Year

    Sponsored 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 Person of the Year

    Sponsored by:
    Lacuna Developments

    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 they have made a contribution to the wider business community. The winner will demonstrate energy, ambition, skill and vision.

  • Best Creative Business

    Sponsored by:
    Destination CQ

    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 Digital Business

    Sponsored by:
    Exterion Media

    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 Hotel

    Sponsored by:
    Linen Quarter BID

    With the addition of many new hotels in the city over the last few years, the inclusion of this category for 2019 provides the opportunity to celebrate those wonderful new additions to our city. If you are one of the new ones or one of our many established and much-loved hotels, then this could be the category for you! This is your opportunity to tell us what’s unique about your hotel and why you might be the Best Hotel in Belfast for 2019.

  • Best Age-Friendly Business

    Sponsored by:
    Age-Friendly Belfast

    This category seeks to find and recognise those organisations and businesses that value a diverse workforce recognising capabilities and resources for people of every age, which anticipates ad responds flexibly to the needs of older people and which provides accessible information and respects diverse decisions and lifestyle choices of older people, promoting a positive view of ageing.

  • Best Technology Based Business

    Sponsored by:
    Mills Selig

    This category will identify those technology based businesses who show innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to hear from engineers, researchers, developers and those working in the knowledge-economy. Are you a winning business that could have a major impact for other businesses or individuals?

  • Environmental Best Practice

    Has your business embraced all things ‘green’ and made changes that positively impact the business, your customers and, ultimately, the environment? This new category, seeks to find those businesses that are leading the way with their environmental procedures and decisions. If your business is working on or in any of these areas, this is the category for you.

  • Best Eatery/Coffee Shop

    Sponsored by:
    Red Box Media
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

    Sponsored 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 2019
Online entry opens:

Tuesday 29th January 2019

Closing date for all entries:

Midnight on Friday 22nd March 2019

Judging commences:

Saturday 23rd March 2019

Shortlist announced:

Monday 1st April 2019

Finalist interviews:

Monday 8th April 2019 through to Monday 15th April 2019

Gala night details for 2019
Gala Awards Night:

Friday 10th May 2019


Titanic Belfast


Pete Snodden and Sarah Travers


£95 + VAT per head (Members) £115 + VAT (Non-members)

Dress Code:

Black Tie / Formal