BIGGEST & ‘BEST YET’…
Friday 14th October saw business people from across Fermanagh gather to celebrate and acknowledge the 2016 Fermanagh Herald Business Awards, run in association with the International Association of Mind Coaches Northern Branch.
With 300 people in attendance at the Gala Awards Night in the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel, the stage was set for the biggest awards night of the year.
The night got off to a great start when the Enniskillen BID team announced a successful YES vote for Enniskillen. The votes were independently verified last Friday and confirmed the business community in Enniskillen strongly supported the campaign with 85% having voted resoundingly in favour.
The glittering occasion continued its flying start with a video presentation of the short-listed nominees and a welcome by MC for the evening, Paul Clark of UTV. After dinner, the main guest of the evening gave an inspiring insight into his experiences, Mr Eddie Hobbs, best known for his RTE programme ‘Rip Off Republic.’
During the night a total of 9 category awards were handed out including £2,000 worth of consultancy for the Best Start Up Business winner from South West College Innotech Centre, plus a Lifetime Achievement for Business Commitment gong and the Overall Business Person of the Year.
After the meal, all the winners were announced and presented with their Award by the relevant sponsor with the main award of the night going to Darren Connolly of Liam Connolly Road freight, who was named as the Business Person of the Year.
Delighted with the awards, Maurice Kennedy, editor of the Fermanagh Herald said, “last Friday’s gala night was a huge success for everyone concerned. It is about recognising those who show initiative, business acumen and a great determination to grow the local economy at a time when the job of running a business continues to be a challenge. The whole business awards initiative is a truly magnificent PR opportunity to be involved in, whether you’re a sponsor or a nominee and we thank everyone involved in last Friday night for making it the biggest and best Fermanagh Herald Business Awards yet!’’
Declan Devlin of the International Association of Mind Coaches Northern Branch said after the awards “I’m delighted to be a part of these awards, which help celebrate the best in entrepreneurial thinking and business success. Local businesses play a valuable role in their community and its fantastic to see so many providing such innovative products and services, combined with excellent customer service. These awards provide a great platform to help highlight businesses and to help them achieve even greater levels of success.”
The Awards ceremony last Friday night, was a fitting finale for the Business Awards that launched back in May when businesses and individuals were asked to nominate themselves or others for one or more of the awards.
The awards process also included a judging panel, an online/in paper support element, which engaged with readers and created additional buzz for the nominees, and a huge amount of in-paper publicity for all nominees short listed. Demand for tickets was unprecedented as supporters turned out to back the nominees in search for glory and what a night it was with gongs handed out to all the winners and highly commended certificates to the remaining nominees.
THE 2016 CATEGORY AWARD WINNERS:
Overall Business Person of the Year Award – sponsored by The International Association of Mind Coaches Northern Branch. Winner – Darren Connolly of Liam Connolly Road Freight;
The Fermanagh Herald Lifetime Achievement for Business Commitment Award: Ernie Fisher, formerly of Fisher Engineering;
Best Start Up Business Award – sponsored by South West College. Winner – TCTS Group. Highly commended: Autoshine Car Care Store, ABSolute-Physio, The TapHouse and The Party Bees;
Excellence in Customer Service Award – sponsored by First Trust Bank. Winner – Burrendale Day Nursery. Highly commended: TCTS Group, Autoline Insurance, The TapHouse and the Belmore Court & Motel;
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award – sponsored by GDP Partnership. Winner – Dale Ebbitt of The TapHouse. Highly commended: David Burleigh of Fishing Tackle & Bait, Patrick Donnelly of ABSolute-Physio, Cathal Crudden of TechDoc and Claire Perez of Fable Heart;
Growth Through Export Award – sponsored by Cavanagh Kelly. Winner –Encirc. Highly commended: Liam Connolly Road Freight and Fable Heart ;
Best Tourism Provider Award – sponsored by Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism. Winner – Castle Archdale Caravan Park. Highly commended: Erne Water Taxi and Share Discovery Village;
Business Excellence Award – sponsored by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council. Winner – Autoline Insurance. Highly commended: TCTS Group and Encirc;
Hair Salon of the Year Award – sponsored by Pizza Hut Delivery. Winner – Hair Square. Highly commended: Enhance Hair & Beauty and Blue Sky Hairdressing;
Restaurant of the Year Award – sponsored by Gortrush Food Services. Winner – Dollakis. Highly commended: The TapHouse;
Social Enterprise of the Year Award – sponsored by North-West News Group. Winner – Kindertee Community Playgroup. Highly commended: Fermanagh Community Transport, Adult ADHD NI and Roslea Enterprise Centre.