THE inaugural Cork County Business & Tourism Awards – an initiative designed to celebrate and recognise excellence in business and tourism across the county – launched this week. The awards scheme has been created by Cork County Council in association with AIB and media partners The Southern Star, The Corkman and the East Cork Journal and follows the success of last year's West Cork Business & Tourism Awards, which was created by the Southern Star.
The awards divide into three regions – West Cork, North Cork and East Cork. Each region will host its own awards programme with the same 11 award categories available for businesses and tourism organisations in each region. The categories include Best New Business, Best Customer Service, Most Innovative/Unique Business, Best Use of Digital and Best Tourism Experience. There is also an award for Young Business Person of the Year, for those aged 18-30.
Speaking at the recent launch event in Cork County Hall, Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey, thanked partners AIB, The Southern Star, The Corkman and the East Cork Journal and said “Cork is making a significant contribution to our National prosperity and as part of that, Cork County Council has a very important role in the promotion of economic development for Cork County. We are supporting the strong cohort of enterprises trading across all sectors in Cork, by focusing in particular on our strengths in the tourism and small business sector”.
An overall Business of the Year 2019 will be chosen by the judges from the individual category winners in each region and there will also be a special award in each of the three regions for ‘Outstanding Business Ambassador’ which will be awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business life in that part of Cork County.
For the shortlisted companies in each category, the process will include a three-minute pitch evening hosted by AIB in October in West Cork, North Cork and East Cork, where companies will get the chance to impress the judges face to face. All shortlisted companies will also be profiled in a special supplement inserted into their local newspaper in November as well as receiving lots of publicity online and via social media. The winners for each category will then be announced at a gala awards event to be held in their region in November with one organisation winning the overall Business of the Year 2019 for that region. All three overall regional winners will then go up against one another for the coveted title of overall Cork County Business of the Year in early 2020.