THE inaugural West Cork Business and Tourism Awards – a new initiative designed to celebrate and recognise excellence in business and tourism across the region – were launched this week.
The awards scheme has been created by The Southern Star in partnership with Cork County Council and associate sponsor AIB.
The awards span eleven different categories including Best New Business, Best Customer Service, Best Artisan Food Producer, Best Use of Social/Digital Media, Best Small Tourism Business and Outstanding West Cork Tourism Experience. They will allow small, medium and large businesses and tourism-related operations to showcase what they do best.
Speaking at the recent launch event in Bandon, Sean Mahon, managing director of The Southern Star said: ‘Here at The Southern Star we interact with hundreds of businesses right across West Cork and we’re very involved with the tourism market too, so we get to see the great work and innovation that local people bring to their companies and to the region. Therefore, we decided to create a platform where local business success and hard work can be celebrated and profiled locally.’
He thanked the overall awards partners, Cork County Council and AIB, as well as the award category sponsors, Blueprint Financial Planning, Skibbereen & Bandon Credit Union, The Blue Haven Hotel, Fitzgerald & Partners and Trigon Hotels, for their support.
An overall ‘West Cork Business of the Year 2018’ will be chosen by the judges from all the individual category winners and there will also be a special award for ‘Outstanding West Cork Business Ambassador’ which will be awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business life in West Cork.
For the shortlisted companies in each category, the process will include a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, ‘three minute pitch’ evening to be hosted by AIB in October, where companies will get the chance to impress the judges face-to-face. All shortlisted companies will also be profiled in a special 40-page awards supplement, inserted into The Southern Star.
The overall winners for each category will then be announced at a gala black tie awards dinner to be held in West Cork in November.
Entry form see ‘Business Awards’ on www.southernstar.ie