Deadline looms for revamped Aer Lingus Viscount Awards

File photo dated 30/05/14 of Aer Lingus planes at Dublin Airport. The board of Aer Lingus restated its backing for a takeover bid by the owner of British Airways as it revealed that profits at the Irish carrier have soared almost 18%. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday February 24, 2015. See PA story CITY AerLingus. Photo credit should read: Artur Widak/PA Wire.

BUSINESSES have until Monday week (March 21) to submit their entries for this year's Aer Lingus Viscount Awards, which will be presented at a plush luncheon at the IoD's London Pall Mall headquarters in late May.

This year there are seven diverse categories being contested after a shake-up aimed at giving a wider range of businesses of all sizes the opportunity to enjoy recognition for their achievements in the last 12 months.

Andrea Hunter, business development manager at Aer Lingus in NI said: “The Viscount Awards, in association with Ulster Business, celebrate the wonderful spectrum of businesses here in Northern Ireland.

“Best Business Start-Up is a new category created this year to recognise recently-established firms, because in the past we noticed huge numbers of newer businesses applying for the Best SME accolade but who found it difficult competing against the more established companies.

"We’ve also added the Employee Champion award to reward businesses that go above and beyond to create a positive employee culture.

“Entries already coming in from across Northern Ireland, but I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet submitted their entry to do so before the entry deadline."

She added: "I’m already looking forward to sitting down with our seasoned judging panel to go through the submissions – we always learn something new about the array of fantastic businesses we have here.”

Each short-listed company will be offered a complimentary ticket to May 24 presentation, which includes a three-course meal and return flights from George Best Belfast City Airport to London Heathrow. Guests will also be given access to the state-of-the-art Aer Lingus Business Lounge at Heathrow.

Entry forms and full awards criteria can be found at

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