Belfast Business Awards -

Belfast Business Awards: Categories


  • Customer Service Excellence

    Sponsored by:

    The Excellence in Customer Service Award will be presented to a company that demonstrates an ongoing commitment to improving its standards of customer service. The winner will have implemented successful customer service strategies and recognised opportunities that have had a significant impact on customer experience.

    CRITERIA: Entrants will be able to demonstrate employee engagement, ongoing training and good internal communication. Examples of how the company has listened to its customers and used the knowledge gleaned will be of particular interest.

  • Best New Business

    Sponsored by:
    Belfast One

    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.

  • Family Business of the Year

    Sponsored by:
    Willis Insurance

    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.

  • Best Company to Work For

    Sponsored by:
    Belfast Works Project

    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 Award

    Sponsored by:
    East Belfast Mission

    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.

  • Business Success

    Sponsored by:
    Grant Thornton

    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.

  • Business Innovation Award

    Sponsored by:
    Power NI

    With Belfast being renowned as a hub of innovation across industry, this award aims to celebrate businesses who have demonstrated innovative approaches in products, processes, technology, or campaigns to enable significant advancements to their business and/or the end-user.

    CRITERIA: Entrants must be able to clearly demonstrate how science, research and innovation has helped develop their product or service and had a positive impact on their business.

  • Communication Excellence Award

    Sponsored by:

    Aimed at those who have successfully developed and implemented a marketing or communication strategy or campaign that has delivered measurable benefits.

    CRITERIA: Have you effectively communicated key messages to your target audience whether they be internal or external? Tell us how these have these impacted your business.

  • New Business Idea Award

    Sponsored by:
    Cool FM

    This category spans not just innovation but also pricing, after sales service, design or performance.

    CRITERIA: If you have developed a niche or mass market product or service with a clear business edge we would encourage you to enter. As well as details of the differentiation the judges will also need to see demonstrable success in terms of profits or cost savings.

  • Business Premises of the Year

    Sponsored by:
    Linen Quarter BID

    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:
    Victoria Square

    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.

  • Team of the Year

    Sponsored by:

    The Team of the Year Award has been designed for businesses that can demonstrate and show real life examples of how teamwork has led to their success and their consistent, high levels of customer care and service.

    CRITERIA: will include business strategy and performance, mission statements, customer care policies and values, staff development plans, together with how the team delivers over and above that which is expected by stakeholders both internally and externally.

  • Business Leader of the Year

    Sponsored by:
    Value Cabs

    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.

  • Digital Business Award

    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 Eatery/Coffee Shop

    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 Award

    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.

  • Dementia Friendly Business Award

    Sponsored by:
    Age-Friendly Belfast

    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

  • Technology Business Award

    Sponsored by:
    Belfast City Council

    This category will identify those technology-based businesses located in Belfast who show innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to hear from engineers, researchers, developers and those working in the knowledge-economy.

    CRITERIA: Your business must be based around technology and you should be able to provide succinct answers to entry questions and demonstrate the impact your technology business has had to date on your team and clients.

  • Disability Initiative by an Employer Award

    Sponsored by:
    Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

    A new category for 2021 and one that will highlight an inclusive business in Belfast who has put in place, an initiative or particular project that has helped to recruit, retain or support disabled employees in the workplace.

  • Green Champion Award

    Sponsored by:
    Queen's University Belfast

    Has your business embraced all things ‘green’ and made changes that directly impact on the environment, your business, staff and customers?

    CRITERIA: We want to find out about those businesses who are leading the way with their environmental procedures and decisions. Are you taking a stand on sustainability? Then we want to hear from you.

  • Outstanding COVID-19 Response Award

    Sponsored by:
    IceMOS Technology

    This category will accept nominations of exemplary responses by companies to the Covid-19 crisis to ensure the well-being of their employees, customers, and communities.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

    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 2021
Online entry opens:

Thursday 29th April 2021

Closing date for all entries:

Midnight on Monday 6th September 2021

Judging commences:

Saturday 4th September 2021

Shortlist announced:

Friday 17th September 2021

Finalist interviews:

Wednesday 22nd September 2021 through to Thursday 30th September 2021

Gala night details for 2021
Gala Awards Night:

Friday 22nd October 2021


Crowne Plaza, Belfast




£110 + VAT per head (Members) £120 + VAT (Non-members)

Dress Code:

Black Tie / Formal