THE cream of Down District businesses celebrated on Friday night at the prestigious Beyond Business Awards Gala Dinner, sponsored by Walter Watson, in the Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa, Newcastle.
Hosted by Tim McGarry, the Beyond Business Awards recognised excellence, innovation and achievement in Down District and saw the best local businesses and entrepreneurs celebrate the hard won achievements from a variety of sectors and sizes across the district.
Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mickey Coogan, delivered the welcome address to over 120 business leaders, entrepreneurs and supporters and said: “The Awards are a celebration of the very best in local business. They are a unique opportunity to recognise the hard work you all do, as entrepreneurs, small businesses or larger companies, to achieve commercial success.”
“All the finalists this year have one thing in common: a relentless capacity to focus on results. It is from that effort and endeavour that great things emerge – new ideas, new products and new jobs. I am greatly impressed with the indigenous vision, commitment and competitiveness of those businesses to stimulate the relationships between economic development and cultural resources”, added Councillor Coogan.
Mr Mark Bleakney, Southern Regional Manager at Invest Northern Ireland, the key funder for the Beyond Business Awards, congratulated the shortlisted finalists and the eventual winners for their achievements and true commitment to developing the local economy in Down district.
Mr Bleakney said: “A fantastic night was had by everyone who attended the awards, and we thank our category sponsors for their continued support. Invest NI is committed to working with Down District Council to ensure the Beyond Business Awards continue to go from strength to strength.
“We believe these Awards remain a core part of developing the local economy and honouring local business achievements and we are really proud to support this. Many congratulations to the winners, and to those who made the shortlist. Your inclusion in the awards is well deserved and reflects your achievements and commitment to the local economy.”
Best New Business Award
Beautique – winner
Sucos Shake n’ Juice
Innovation Award Finalists:
Alternative Heat – winner
The Greenhouse NI
Bluefin Saftware Solutions
Dermot Curran Young Achiever Award Finalists:
Beautique – Lisa Burke – winner
Threadbare – Emma Cunningham
Jude Cassidy Textiles
Employee of the Year Award
Una Duggan (Eclipse Cinemas) – winner
Carly McLoughlin (Little Ones Day Nursery)
Best use of ICT Award
Bluefin Software Solutions – winner
Best Social Enterprise Award
Newcastle Community Cinema – winner
Newcastle Arts Festival
Asda Downpatrick Community Life