How to enter

 There are 3 Cork County regions to choose from – West Cork, North Cork and East Cork.

Entry to the awards is free of charge and businesses can enter a maximum of 2 of the 11 categories listed below.

Winning entries don't need to be lengthy - focus on your story, why you are successful, what makes your business different & better than your competitors, and only include relevant & necessary information - don't be shy, make sure you sell your business to the judges!

For each region, a shortlist of 3 businesses will be chosen for each Awards category by that region's panel of judges, with the winner of each category announced at a special Awards event in November.

An overall 'Business of the Year 2019' for each region will be chosen from all the individual category winners in that region and again announced at the special Awards event in November.

In addition there will be a special County Mayor's Award for 'Outstanding Business Ambassador', again 1 per region, which will be awarded to an individual whom the judges feel has made a significant and extraordinary contribution to business life in each of our three Cork County regions.


The awards categories

  • Best Small to Medium Enterprise

  • Best Use of Digital

  • Most Innovative/Unique Business

  • Best Festival

  • Best Tourism Experience

  • Young Business Person of the Year - Aged 30 or under as of Dec 31st 2019 . This can be self-nominated or you can be nominated by someone else.

  • Best Artisan Food Producer

  • Best Customer Service

  • Best Marketing Initiative

  • Best New Business - in business for no more than 3 years

  • Best Not for Profit Organisation


The awards process

Enter online or by post to Cork County Business & Tourism Awards Team, Southern Star Creative, Ilen Street, Skibbereen, Co Cork. Entries close midnight Friday 6th September.  

Stage 1

Entries

The judges will review all submissions in order to get to a shortlist of 3 finalists per category.  Finalists will hear from us in early October. 

Stage 2

Shortlist of finalists

Finalists will be invited to a pitch night in each region hosted by AIB.  This is your opportunity to really sell your business via a three-minute pitch.  From this the judges will decide the ultimate winners for each category.  A fantastic networking opportunity, the pitch night will take place during October. 

STAGE 3

PITCH NIGHT

Cork County Council will publish a special supplement featuring business profiles of all finalists in The Southern Star, The Corkman and the East Cork Journal during November. 

Stage 4

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

Finalists will receive 2 complementary tickets to the Gala Awards event in their region, where winners of each category will be announced.  The 'Overall Business of the Year 2019' and 'Outstanding Business Ambassador' for each region will also be announced at the event which will take place in November.

STAGE 5

THE GALA AWARDS EVENT

The overall Business of the Year in each region will then go up against the equivalent winners in the other two regions for the coveted title of overall Cork County Business of the Year

Stage 6

THE CORK COUNTY FINALS


the benefits of entering the awards

  • A great way to raise your company’s profile.

  • A great way to team build by recognising & celebrating the hard work of your employees.

  • A great marketing and PR opportunity if you’re shortlisted, become a category winner or even win the overall Business of the Year award in your region.

  • All shortlisted companies will receive a profile article & photograph in a special Business & Tourism Awards supplement to be published in their local newspaper ahead of the Gala Awards event.

  • All Awards category winners will receive substantial additional publicity via their local newspaper and digital media plus a framed certificate and trophy and a special logo that can be used on marketing materials.

  • Finalists that are 'runners up' also receive additional publicity via their local newspaper and digital media plus a framed certificate and a special logo that can be used on marketing materials. 


Testimonials

The Cork County Council Business and Tourism Awards launched last year in the West Cork region in conjunction with The Southern Star. They were a resounding success and here’s just a sample of the feedback received from some of the winners.

Whether you’re based in West Cork, North Cork or East Cork this could be you and your business saying something similar at the end of 2019!

We’re so proud to accept this award; and if tonight has proven anything it’s that West Cork is the crown of the Wild Atlantic Way
— Niamh Ni Dhrisceoil, Cléire & Fastnet Tours (Winner: Outstanding Tourism Experience)
This means the world to me; thanks to everyone in West Cork for their support. It’s just amazing to be recognised by your peers
— Caroline Murphy, West Cork Eggs (Winner: Best New Business)
A huge thanks to all the businesses in West Cork – we wouldn’t have a festival without you; you are A Taste of West Cork
— Helen Collins, A Taste of West Cork (Winner: Best West Cork Festival)
It’s great to win international awards but to win in the home place, there’s nothing quite like it
— Avril Allshire, Caherbeg Free Range Pork (Winner: Best Artisan Food Producer)