Business

Record-breaking year as BEFTAs short list is revealed

Richard Buckley, editor of Business Eye, with Ann McSorley, head of corporate at First Trust Bank

THIS is set to be a record-breaking year for the annual BEFTAs - the new name for the UTV Business Eye Awards - which have been revamped as a result of the partnership between Business Eye and lead sponsor First Trust Bank.

The total number of entries for 2018, across 18 categories, is by far the biggest volume during the 14-year history of the business initiative.

The monthly magazine's editor Richard Buckley said: “The step up in both quantity and quality this year is dramatic. In some categories, our judging panel faced an almost impossible task to differentiate between exceptional entries from some of our very best home-grown businesses. The quality and quantity of entries is reflected in a comprehensive short list for this year's BEFTA.”

The 2018 judging panel sat down at The Resolution Centre, a meeting facility based at The Boat on Belfast's Donegall Quay, to make the tough calls for this year's awards, which take place on Thursday November 22, at ICC Belfast, the new name for the Belfast Waterfront.

Fellow judge Ann McSorley, head of corporate at First Trust Bank added: “After supporting the small business awards for the past four years, acknowledging the best and brightest business owners and entrepreneurs from our small business community, it was only natural to join Business Eye in celebrating growth across our business community as a whole.

"The high calibre of entries from every sector and corner of Northern Ireland made for a lively and difficult discussions for the judges, but we were all left with a great sense of optimism after discovering undeniable levels of passion, innovation and growth locally.

"We offer our congratulations to all those who made it onto the short list and look forward to celebrating the leaders in our business community at the new-look BEFTA awards.”

In addition to the awards, hosted by Marc Mallett, guests will be entertained on the night by Scotland's Drums n' Roses and Re-Take That, the UK and Ireland's top Take That tribute band.

2018 BEFTA SHORT LIST:

• Agri Food Innovation Award - Keenan Seafood, Around Noon, Davison Canners

• Business Personality of the Year - Tina McKenzie, Glyn Roberts, James Hagan, Mairead Mackle, Judith Totten, Peter Johnston

• Community (CSR) Award - Power NI, Killowen Contracts, ArtsEkta, George Best Belfast City Airport, Lidl Northern Ireland, ATG Group, Homecare Independent Living, Musgrave NI

• Waste Reduction Project of the Year - Titanic FX, Pritchitts, Carriages Bistro, ATG Group

• Employer of the Year - One2One, The Momentum Group, Action Cancer, Fintru, Lidl NI, Pinsent Masons, Automated Intelligence, Axiom Global, Musgrave, Shredbank

• Executive Support Professional of the Year - Kim McClelland (Momentum Group), Janine Smalls (HCIL), Fran Devenney (Pinsent Masons), Kathy Hanna (Oasis Travel)

• Tourism/Hospitality Project of the Year - Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, Andras House Group, We Are Vertigo

• Family Business of the Year - Mash Direct, Killowen Contracts, Mercury Security, MJ Kane & Co, Wilsons Auctions, ATG Group, TS Foods

• Fast Growth Business of the Year - Selective Travel Management, FinTrU, Davison Canners, Frank & Honest Gourmet Coffee (Musgrave), CTS Projects, Energystore, PAC (Process Automation & Calibration)

• Technology Company of the Year - Henderson Technology, Audit Comply, Lava Group, First Derivatives, Continu, Automated Intelligence,

Decision Time

• Manufacturer of the Year - Nitronica, KES Group, Icemos Technology, Denroy Plastics, TS Foods, BMI Trailers, Woodland

• Exporter of the Year - Salt DNA, Brookvent, Telestack, PWC Operate, Icemos Technology, Pure Fit Out

• Medium/Mid-Sized Business of the Year - Killowen Contracts, Selective Travel Management, BMI Trailers, PKF-FPM Accountants, AMI, Willis Insurance & Risk Management

• Professional Services Firm of the Year - Fairstone Financial Management NI, ASM, PKF- FPM, A&L Goodbody, The Momentum Group, Pinsent Masons, Lowry Grace Consulting, MCL Waste Management, Amplifi Solutions

• Research & Development project of the Year - Bloc Blinds, Belfast City Centre Management, Obbi Solutions Ltd, ATG Services

• Innovative Business of The Year - Salt DNA, Workpal, Inviz, CoreChex, Performance Alloys, Neurovalens, Wilsons Auctions, Upstream

• Young Business Personality of the Year - Adam Gilmore (AG Electrical), Maire Claire Reid (TST Transport), Conor Cole (Cole Groundwork Contracts), Connor McCandless (Energystore), Andrew Davis (77 Retail), Shauna Collins (Catalyst Inc), Chris Rankin (Precept IT), Paul Redpath (Catalyst 2), Gavin Halpin (Paper Owl Films).

• Company of the Year - Musgrave NI, Lidl NI, Novosco, Wilsons Auctions, PKF-FPM Accountants, FinTrU, Salt DNA, Homecare Independent Living.

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