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The West Cork Business & Tourism Awards are back!

September 5th, 2022 4:18 PM

By Southern Star Team

From left: Clodagh Henehan, Cork County Council; Cllr. Danny Collins, county mayor; Catherine Arundel, AIB; Sharon Corcoran, Cork County Council and Seán Mahon, Southern Star. (Photo:Andy Gibson)

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The Southern Star, in partnership with Cork County Council, is delighted to announce that the West Cork Business & Tourism Awards are back for 2022

The awards were a great success in 2018 and 2019, and now, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid, they’re back.

We recognise the impact the pandemic had on businesses and the challenges they faced over the last two years. Many businesses shone brighter and grew in recent years.

That is why it is more important than ever to show our support for these businesses.

The West Cork Business & Tourism Awards are designed to celebrate and recognise the excellence in business and tourism that exists right across our region, amongst businesses of all sizes and sectors.

In 2019 we received over 250 entries from around 150 organisations and we are very much looking forward to seeing the same high standards again this year.

We are calling on businesses from all across West Cork to enter – from sole trad-ers to ‘solopreneurs’ to limited companies and multinationals.

Those working from home or trading from a business premises are encouraged to join in too – there really is a category for everyone. Entries are now open by clicking here. Good luck to all.

The benefits of entering the awards

There are many benefits to entering the West Cork Business and Tourism Awards:

• You have an opportunity to raise your company’s profile to a local, national and even international audience through our digital platforms.

• The awards are FREE to enter

• If shortlisted, the awards provide free marketing and PR opportunities for your business.

• Entering can be a great team building exercise to recognise and celebrate the hard work of employees.

• All shortlisted businesses will receive a profile article and photograph in a special West Cork Business & Tourism Awards supplement to be published in The Southern Star and online at www.southernstar.ie ahead of the Gala Awards Night.

• All Awards category winners and finalists will receive publicity via The Southern Star newspaper and digital media, a framed certificate and trophy and a special logo that can be used on marketing materials.

The awards categories

West Cork’s Best Customer Service

Ireland is renowned for its ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’.  Businesses pride themselves on reviews and testimonials of a job well done.  We are on the search for West Cork’s best customer service.  If your business delights its customers time after time and offers the best welcome and best service then we want to hear from you. Use examples of when your business has delivered exceptional customer service. Include details of awards, ratings, media coverage, reviews or testimonials you have received.

Best New Business (in business for 3 years or less)

Starting a business can be exciting and challenging. The past two years have seen many people reassess their situations and take that leap to become self employed, often leaving careers in favour of entrepreneurship. We want to hear from business owners who have established a new business of any size, in the last three years.

Best Small Business (Less than 20 employees)

This category is open to any business with less than 20 employees, including solo-preneurs. This business can operate from a home office or trade from a business premises. The business set up can be a sole trader, partnership or limited company and can operate in any sector. We're looking for examples of how the business has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Best Medium/Large Business (20 – 250 employees)

This category is for the best medium or large sized business in West Cork. A business that prides itself on providing employment, from 20 people right up to 250 employees. This business can operate in any sector. We’re looking for examples of how the business has evolved, grown and gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Best use of Creative Marketing 

We recognise the results that well thought out and well executed advertising/promotional/marketing initiatives
can deliver. We’re looking for West Cork’s best marketing campaign or initiative. This doesn’t have to be a huge ‘song
and dance’! It can be something as simple as an online video that went viral to a carefully planned out advertising campaign across various channels. It could be a clever podcast that attracted customers or a piece of ‘guerilla’ marketing designed to grab awareness or PR coverage. We are looking for businesses who have gained attention for their business by thinking outside the box.

Best Tourism Experience 

West Cork is renowned for the experience we offer to tourists and locals alike.  With its stunning scenery, skilled craftspeople and talented food producers, visitors are spoilt for choice.  Tourism experiences showcase what West Cork has to offer and we are looking for ‘The best in the west!'  If you operate a tourism business that offers a superb tourism experience in West Cork, this category is for you.

West Cork Young Businessperson of the Year (Aged 35 or under)

Young entrepreneurs are a key part of Ireland’s future.  This category supports and champions West Cork’s young, dynamic and creative business men and women. If you are a business owner or business operator/manager under the age of 35 and your business has been in operation for a minimum of 1 year, this is your opportunity to showcase your business skills.

Business in the Community Award

West Cork businesses and people in business have been supporting their local communities for years now. The recent covid pandemic brought this to light more so than ever with people going above and beyond to assist those in need. We are encouraging businesses to show us examples of how either their business or employee/employees went ‘the extra mile’ to give back to their community. We are looking for the best display of community support in West Cork, where exceptional generosity and selflessness has been shown to help others.

Special Awards

West Cork Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Business of the Year

The special Fáilte Ireland Award for the ‘West Cork Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Business of the Year', will be awarded by the judges to a tourism business they feel brings the Wild Atlantic Way regional experience brand to life. The winning tourism business will offer an authentic experience and continually innovate their tourism offering in a sustainable way to attract more visitors to West Cork throughout the year.

County Mayor's Awards for West Cork Business Ambassador

The County Mayor’s Award for West Cork Business Ambassador is awarded to an individual whom the judges feel has made a significant and extraordinary contribution to business life in West Cork.

Overall West Cork Business of the Year 2022 

Following on from Rowa Pharmaceuticals and Keohane Seafood who both won the coveted West Cork Business of the Year title in 2018 and 2019 respectively, an overall winner for 2022 will be chosen from all the individual category winners.

Full details on how to enter the West Cork Business & Tourism Awards at: www.westcorkbusinessandtourismawards.ie.

The judges

Please note: The decision of the judges will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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