'Awards will be integral to a momentous year for Chamber'

Dessie Blackadder


Dessie Blackadder

The 2019 Ballymena Business Excellence Awards have been officially launched at a packed reception in the Braid.

This is the 17th year of the awards which are organised annually by Ballymena Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is the principal sponsor for this year’s awards.

Chamber President Alderman Robin Cherry MBE welcomed everyone to the reception and said “Little did we think that when we organised the first awards in 2003 that they would become such an important and prestigious event.

“Just looking around this morning, it is great to see so many sponsors and guests present – this demonstrates that the interest in the Business Awards is stronger than ever.

“These awards help to celebrate the huge contribution made by our business community.

“The economic environment has been very tough in the last year, and these awards show the commitment of individuals and the business excellence that exists in the Ballymena Area.

This is a momentous year for Chamber which celebrates its Centenary and the Business Excellence Awards Gala Evening will be an integral part of our centenary celebrations.

I would like to thank Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for agreeing to be principal sponsor again this year and I assure you that Chamber will do everything to make this year’s awards the most successful to date.

“I would like to thank all the businesses who have sponsored awards or taken an advertisement in the Awards Brochure – without your support there would be no awards.”

The judging this year will again be carried out by Insight Mystery Shopping – it is entirely independent of Chamber thereby ensuring the integrity of the awards.

Alderman Cherry added: “The Awards Brochure will be circulated throughout the Ballymena area and I would also ask everyone here this morning to encourage your customers and business contacts to enter the awards.

There are 21 awards this year so there is a category to suit everyone – large or small businesses, retail, hospitality, agricultural or industrial together with individual awards. I look forward to welcoming you all to the Gala Evening on Thursday, October 24.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted and proud to sponsor the hugely prestigious Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.

“Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry has consistently demonstrated its dedication to a flourishing local economy and has been behind these awards for many years now, which contribute positively to overall economic development in the area.

“These awards celebrate the talent, entrepreneurship and ambition of our local business leaders and I wish all entrants well ahead of this year’s event. The future of Ballymena and Mid and East Antrim is extremely promising – and our businesses and industry leaders deserve to be recognised for their incredible vision, innovation and commitment.”

The Gala Awards Evening this year takes place on Thursday 24th October in Tullyglass House Hotel. This is now a major event in the Ballymena business and social calendar, so put the date in your diary now!

Last year almost 450 guests attended the Gala Evening and this year looks set to be another great celebration.

Awards brochures are now being distributed around the Ballymena area. If you have not yet received a brochure, please visit www.ballymenachamber.co.uk where you can view the brochure and download an entry form.

If you have any queries, or to book your tickets for the Gala Evening, please contact Tom Wiggins at tom@ballymenachamber.co.uk.


Principal Sponsor – Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Customer Service Award Retail Sector - Independent Retailer: First Trust

Customer Service Award Retail Sector - Multiple Retailer: Power NI

Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media Award: Samuel Cumming and Son Solicitors

Best Eating Establishment Award: RiverRidge

Best Small Eatery / Coffee Shop Award: firmus energy

Customer Service Award Service Sector: Riada Resourcing

Customer Service Award Hospitality Sector: Autoline Insurance

Business Premises Award: Country Garage BMW

Skills Development Award: The Gallaher Trust

Best Business Website Award: Robinsons of Ballymena

Right Place to Work Award: Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort

Most Promising New Business Award: Bank of Ireland UK

Best Small Business Award: Michelin Development Fund

Family Business of the Year Award: Danske Bank

Social Enterprise of the Year Award: Ballymena Business Centre

Involvement in the Community Award: Fisher Law

Best Creative Business Award: Millside Restaurant Gracehill

Best Young Person in Business Award: Northern Regional College

Employee of the Year Award: Black Advertsing

Business Growth Award: Ulster Bank

Commitment to Ballymena Award: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

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