6 February 2021
By Elaine Murphy
The Cork Business Association has announced a new date in April for their annual President’s Dinner and Cork Business of the Year Awards, which will be held virtually this year.
President of the CBA Eoin O’Sullivan said that many Cork businesses are currently closed because of Covid-19 restrictions and the organising committee feels it would be more appropriate to host the celebratory event when businesses are back up and running.
“It’s more important than ever to recognise and uplift businesses during these difficult times, but we also need to be respectful of people’s situations. By April, we hope that the majority of businesses will have reopened and everyone will be in the mood for an evening of celebrations.”
The Cork Business Association has also extended the deadline for entry to the awards until 14th February. The awards are free to enter on CBAAwards.ie and Eoin O’ Sullivan is encouraging everyone to enter. “Many businesses might not want to enter this year as their sales were so badly hit, but these are the businesses that have shown true resilience.”
The CBA Awards, which are run in partnership with sponsor JCD and Centra, event partner Peninsula, and media partner The Irish Examiner, recognising the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across varied sectors of business in Cork City.There are 12 individual categories to choose from, including a new award this year for resilience and innovation during Covid19, in addition to the overall Cork Business of the Year Award winners for a medium and large business. Each year a Champion of Cork is also recognised.
Eoin O’Sullivan continued, “The 64th iteration of the Cork Business of Year Awards comes at an extraordinary time in the history of our city, and of the world. The Covid pandemic is probably the greatest challenge our business community has had to endure. But it is a challenge that we, as a collectively community, can rise from. The business community of Cork has shown true solidarity and resilience over the past year which instils confidence for the future of our city post Covid19.
The 12 individual award categories for 2020 include:
- Covid Resilience and Innovation, sponsored by Failte Ireland
- Open to all businesses in Cork City who have pivoted their business or shown resilience and innovation since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic in March 2020. Entrants will need to demonstrate what they have done to ensure business continuity or to set themselves apart.
- Best New Business in Cork, sponsored by LEO Cork City
- Open to all businesses that have been founded or are new to Cork since 1st January 2018. Entrants should explain their business and demonstrate how they have translated a great idea into a viable and successful business venture. They should outline any impact Covid-19 had on their business and plans for the future.
- Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by AIB
- Open to all family owned and run businesses in the greater Cork city area. Your business must be managed by family members and you must be able to demonstrate the involvement of at least two generations of family members who are working in the business. Outline, if relevant, how Covid-19 impacted your business in 2020.
- Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by M&P O Sullivan
- 2020 was an extremely challenging year for hotels. This year we want to hear from hotels on what you are doing to stay afloat and top of mind with your customers. For example, how you have adapted and pivoted your business, extensions and renovations that will positively impact your hotel and Cork in the future; future planning, employees that have gone above and beyond during the year; or how your hotel helps to promote Cork as a destination nationally and internationally.
- Best Cork Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market
- The best Restaurant award acknowledges excellence in quality, service, price and ambiance. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, customer service, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how well the establishment functions as a business. Restaurants have had an extremely challenging year so please demonstrate what you have done to future-proof your business. For example, how you have adapted your premises and team in line with government guideline, if you pivoted you business, extensions and renovations, future planning, or list an employee that has gone above and beyond during the year.
- Best Cork Café, sponsored by The English Market
- The best Café award will recognise excellence in customer service, business innovation, premises ambiance and atmosphere. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how they have raised the profile of their business in this ever increasingly competitive sector. Cafes have had an extremely challenging year so please demonstrate what you have done to future-proof your business. For example, how you have adapted your premises and team in line with government guideline, if you pivoted you business, extensions and renovations, future planning, or list an employee that has gone above and beyond during the year.
- Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork
- 2020 was an extremely challenging year for pubs. This year we want to hear what you are doing to stay afloat and top of mind with your customers. For example, how you have adapted to follow and implement the guidelines that were issued with regards to engaging employees and interacting with customers, how you pivoted your business, extensions and renovations that will positively impact your pub and Cork in the future; future planning, employees that have gone above and beyond during the year; or your own personal story.
- Best Cork Retail Business, sponsored by Cork City Council
- The best Cork Retail Business will be awarded to the business that routinely strives for the highest standards across a number of key metrics such as customer service, value, visual merchandising, premises maintenance, marketing, and adaptability. 2020 saw unprecedented challenges for this sector, so outline how you adapted- did you drive business online, upskill employees, renovate, plan for the future, or outline any employees who went above and beyond during the year.
- Best Tourism Art Event, sponsored by IHF Cork
- This award is designed to recognise and reward those working in tourism, arts, events and attractions. 2020 was an extremely difficult year for this sector so please outline how you pivoted your business, how you adapted virtually, any extensions or renovations undertaken, or employees that went above and beyond.
- Best Professional Services Business, sponsored by ETC PR & Marketing
- This category is open to all businesses that provide a professional business service in the greater Cork city area. They include banking, legal, accounting, HR, recruitment, PR, marketing, architects, financial advisers, engineers, consultants, training providers, strategic advice etc. They can be any organisation or profession that offers customised, knowledge-based services to clients. Entrants must be able to explain what their professional business service is and demonstrate their commitment to customer service excellence within their particular service provided. Outline how your business adapted to a changing work environment in 2020.
- Best Cork Digital Business, sponsored by B2B Signs and B2B Print
- This award will be presented to a company or organisation that can practically demonstrate how they have embraced the digital age and built their company around, or adapted their business strategy to adopt, a more future focused, digitally powered approach.
This category is open to all businesses, regardless of their stage in the business life-cycle.
- Champion of Cork Award, sponsored by CIT and MTU
- This award recognises a Corkonian whom the judges believe has made a real difference to Cork and its people, be it through driving business, their contribution to the arts, their charitable work, their efforts in developing our city or their passion and drive for promoting all things Cork.
To enter the Cork Business of the Year Awards 2020, your business must be based in the greater Cork city area or be a current member of the Cork Business Association.
An experienced panel of leading business and civic leaders will provide independent judging and a shortlist will be announced on the 1st March. The public will then vote on the winner in each category. The judging panel includes the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney Head of Visit Cork, Alan Healy from the Irish Examiner, John Cleary from JCD, Tony Kerins from Peninsula, Paul McGuirk LEO Cork City and Eoin O Sullivan M&P O’Sullivan and President of the Cork Business Association.
The President’s Dinner and Cork Business of the Year Awards is always a highlight for local businesses. Because of expected restrictions on social gatherings, the event will be presented virtually on Saturday 17th April 2021. This year there will be a fabulous dine at home gourmet twist where guests can collect a ‘President’s Taste of the City Hamper’, which will be filled with the best of local produce from some of Cork’s top chefs. It will include a 4-course dinner with a virtual cooking demo, drinks, wines and wine tasting notes. There will be lots of networking opportunities online on the night and guests are invited to dress up to be in with the chance to win some fantastic prizes. Further details on the event will be updated on the CBA website.
For further information see CBAAwards.ie