105 entries make the cut for Belfast Business Awards

Belfast Chamber president Rajesh Rana and Bank of Ireland's Paul McClurg with BBC business reporter Clodagh Rice

MORE than 100 of the city's top businesses and individuals have made the cut to be named as finalists in the 2019 Belfast Business Awards, run by Belfast Chamber and backed by Bank of Ireland UK, and which take place in Titanic Belfast on Friday May 10.

They're on a short-list spanning 21 categories, and are drawn from customer service, creative, community, digital marketing, age-friendly to food and drink.

The diverse categories span from best technology based business, environmental best practice, best company to work for, and young business person of the year (under-30) to the Bank of Ireland UK lifetime achievement award.

Chamber president Rajesh Rana said: “We're astounded at the sheer level of excellent entries, people who've taken the time to showcase their business for these awards.

“Over the next couple of weeks, a series of interviews will take place with a panel of judges to decide the overall winners in each category.

“There will also be extensive mystery shopping for the customer service and hospitality-based categories, and I encourage everyone to go the extra mile and showcase their business and staff to their absolute best ability."

He added: “The awards night, hosted again by Sarah Travers and Pete Snodden, is the highlight of the Belfast Chamber calendar, a night to celebrate, to showcase excellence, and to network with your peers.”

Paul McClurg, head of business banking Belfast from partner Bank of Ireland UK said: “There is such fantastic strength and quality across the breadth of businesses entries for this year's awards.

“In successfully meeting the brief for boosting business, it makes the selection process an interesting one which will positively challenge the judges.

“We are delighted to be part of these local business “Begin” journeys, supporting them as they progress towards achieving their ambition to be recognised as well as sharing and celebrating their talent and success, as an important part of a strong, vibrant and diverse business community in Belfast.”

Full list of finalists …

Customer service excellence, hospitality sector, sponsored by Power NI

• Café Parisien

• Titanic Hotel

• Maryville House Tearooms Boutique B&B

• Odyssey Bowl

• Stay in Belfast Ltd

• Victoria Square

Customer service excellence, independent retailer, sponsored by Andras Hotels

• iPhix

• Kukoon Rugs

• Learning SPACE

• Omnibus Home

• Robinsons Shoes

• Suitor Brothers Tailoring

Customer service excellence, professional business services, sponsored by Specsavers

• GOC Estate Agents

• iMultiply

• Keenan Healthcare

• MCS Group

• Newbridge Financial Planning Ltd

• SureSkills

Best new business, sponsored by Fintru

• Brown O'Connor Communications

• Halo Healthy Kitchen

• Honeycomb Jobs

• Karcher Center Belfast

• Memento Floral Designs Ltd

• Pride & Pinion

Social enterprise of the year, sponsored by Belfast City Council health development

• East Belfast Mission


• Open College Network NI (OCN NI)

• TREECO Maintenance Service

• Usel

Best family business, sponsored by Value Cabs

• C.B. Contracts (NI) Ltd

• Glandore

• Karcher Center Belfast

• Mount Charles

• The Gregory Belfast

• Wood Floor Warehouse

Business growth, sponsored by Grant Thornton


• FinTrU

• Houtman Scaffolding Ltd

• Made to Engage

• Mount Charles

• Selective Travel Management

Best company to work for award, sponsored by Willis Insurance

• Bell & Company

• FinTrU


• NI Water

• Paul Connan Ltd, McDonald's Restaurant

• Primark

Best marketing initiative, sponsored by Downtown, Cool FM, Downtown Country

• Belfast One & Destination CQ

• Beyond Skin Clinic

• MCS Group

• Translink (Glider)

• Victoria Square

• Visit Belfast

Best business premises, sponsored by Belfast One


• House Belfast (Botanic Way Ltd)

• Instil Software


• Options Technology

• Savills Ireland

Young business person (under-30), sponsored by Victoria Square

• Becca Hume, TapSOS

• Glen Stewart, We Are Vertigo

• Holly Wilson, Belfast Cathedral - The Cathedral Church of St Annes

• James Blake, Vindicta Digital

• Karen McParland, Majestic Kitchens & Bedrooms Ltd

• Laurance Henry O'Neill, O'Neill's Funeral Directors

Employee of the year, sponsored by Castle Court

• Adam Myles, Abacus Careers

• Conor Mills, Uberfone

• Glenn McCalmont, Tribal Burger

• Kym Horner, MKB Law

• Laura Banks, Francis Hanna & Company Solicitors

• Leah McMullan, The Bake House

Business person of the year, sponsored by Lacuna Developments

• Aodhan Connolly, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium

• Gareth Murphy, Vertigo Holdings Ltd

• Mary Leonard, Learning SPACE

• Samuel J Anderson, Icemos Technology Ltd

• Tara Simpson, Instil Software

• Tom Smyth, Dream Apartments

Creative Business sponsored by Destination CQ

• Blick Studios

• Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People

• Collaborate

• Kaizen Brand Evolution

• NI Silver

• Sugar Rush Creative

Best digital business, sponsored by Exterion Media

• Dawson Andrews

• Flowlens

• Groundswell

• Loud Mouth Media

• Made to Engage

• OBBI Solutions

Best hotel, sponsored by Linen Quarter BID

• Crowne Plaza

• Grand Central Hotel

• Hampton by Hilton Hotel

• Holiday Inn, Belfast City Centre

• Ten Square Hotel

• Titanic Hotel

Best age-friendly business, sponsored by Belfast City Council Age Charter

• GLL/Better Belfast

• Marks & Spencer

• Translink

• Ulster Bank

Best technology-based business, sponsored by Mills Selig

• Icemos Technology Ltd

• Instil Software


• Options Technology

• SaltDNA

• Sugar Rush Creative

Environmental best practice

• Camden Group

• CastleCourt Shopping Centre

• Eventmedic NI

• MCL Consulting

• The Morning Star

• Ulster Supported Employment Ltd

Best coffee shop, sponsored by Red Box Media

• Curated Kitchen & Coffee

• Maryville House Tearooms & Boutique B&B

• The Bake House

• The Ivory Champagne Café

Best eatery, sponsored by Red Box Media

• Fish City Belfast

• Freshly Chopped (Mount Charles)

• Hadskis

• The Ivory Restaurant

• Tony & Jens

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