BALLYMENA businesses were out in force at Tullyglass House Hotel last Thursday evening for the 16th Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.
The awards are organised annually by Ballymena Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the principal sponsor this year was Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
Liam Beckett was the compere for the evening and his first duty was to invite Chamber President Robin Cherry MBE to speak.
Robin said: “On behalf of Ballymena Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here tonight to celebrate our 16th Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.
“The fact that there are almost 450 people present here this evening clearly illustrates the high esteem in which the local business community hold this event.
“Tonight is about celebrating the success of the Ballymena Business Community and focusing on the huge contribution made by local businesses and to highlight the commitment made by individuals.
“As a Chamber we see this as an excellent event to promote Ballymena to the rest of Northern Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business.
“I would like to thank all our sponsors, especially our principal sponsor Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Chamber has had an excellent working relationship with the Council in recent years and we look forward to building on that relationship in the future.
“To our individual category sponsors, many of whom return year on year to support the awards, we really are grateful for your support.”.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted and proud to be the principal sponsor of the hugely prestigious Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.
“Council is fully committed to supporting business growth and development, and promoting an environment that encourages and facilitates investment in our Borough.
“We have committed to creating a vibrant business culture and we are proactively seeking to build on our strengths in advanced manufacturing, retail and agri-food, while supporting the growth of new industry sectors, including digital, tourism, financial and business services.
“Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry is dedicated to a flourishing local economy and has been organising these awards for many years now, which contribute positively to overall economic development and prosperity.
“We recognise this significant contribution and are proud to continue to support these awards which recognise the achievements of our local businesses and business people in helping us all to build a stronger economy for the benefit of all our citizens.
“We celebrate the talent, entrepreneurship and ambition of our local business leaders.
“And we are happy to pay a deserved tribute to their unrelenting and inspirational commitment to Ballymena and Mid and East Antrim."
Chamber would like to thank Tullyglass House Hotel for their excellent food and service. The highlight of the evening of course was the presentation of the awards and the atmosphere was electric. The evening was rounded off with entertainment by magician Rodd Hogg and dancing to the Manouche Boys.
During the evening a raffle was held with the proceeds going to the NI Hospice. Chamber would like to thank the following businesses for donating prizes for the raffle:
Bank of Ireland
Galgorm Castle Golf Club
Galgorm Resort and Spa
Go Sun Restaurant
Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Tullyglass House Hotel
Chris and Audrey Wales
Tom and Adrienne Wiggins
Chamber is delighted that £2950 was raised for the Hospice and thank everyone for their generosity.