North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed the launch of the inaugural Cork County Business & Tourism Awards, an initiative designed to celebrate and recognise excellence in business and tourism across the county.
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 are divided 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.
Cllr. O’Shea commented: “This is an excellent initiative which will rightly recognise the wealth of talent in both business and tourism across County Cork. As the local authority, Cork County Council is determined to support the many enterprises driving economic development in County Cork, particularly within the small business and tourism sectors, both of which are so important to the county. Best of luck to all those involved in the inaugural event, I look forward to the winners being announced later in the year.”
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 County Cork.
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.
Entry to the Cork County Business & Tourism Awards is free and is now open. Full details can be found at www.corkcountybusinessandtourismawards.ie