15 December 2022
By Elaine Murphy
The 66th annual awards will recognise Cork’s “outstanding, unique and resilient” businesses
At the launch of the 66th Cork Business of the Year Awards, Cork Business Association President Kevin Herlihy praised all businesses in the city for their innovation and the continued resilience they have shown this year in the face of ongoing business challenges.
The Awards, which are now open for entry, are run in partnership with sponsors JCD, Centra and Peninsula to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across all sectors in Cork City who are driving the future direction of the city.
There are 12 different categories of awards that businesses can enter into. An experienced panel of leading business and civic leaders will provide independent judging and the shortlist will be announced for public vote in late January. Three businesses will be shortlisted in each category and the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winners. The judges will also choose an Overall Company of the Year Awards for SME’s and Large Businesses, as well as a Champion of Cork.
The Cork Business of the Year Awards are free to enter and nominations are now open online at CBAAwards.ie. The deadline for submission is 11am on January 23rd 2023. All businesses in the great Cork area are encouraged to enter.
Kevin Herlihy, President of Cork Business Association and a Director of The Herlihy Centra Group said
“2022 has been a mixed year for many businesses – everyone is delighted to reopen our doors, but we continue to face intense challenges from recruitment issues to the War on Ukraine, the energy crisis, and shortly, the increase in VAT. I am blown away every day by the great tenacity and incredible resilience and innovation that businesses throughout our city have shown. Owner/managers are overcoming huge obstacles and working hard to ensure the future of not only their own individual businesses, but the growth and prosperity of Cork City. Success wears many different hats. To some, it’s bunkering down and keep the doors open to provide a vital service for our city, while others have innovated, pivoted or grown. We want to hear from you all.”
Mr. Herlihy went on to say
“With that in mind, I am delighted to launch the 2023 Cork Business of the Year Awards, which will hopefully recognise and reward business owners who go above and beyond to ensure that Cork City is the best place to work and live. It has never been more important to highlight businesses who are leading the way and setting precedents for others to aspire to.”
The 12 individual award categories for 2022 include:
- Sustainable Business Innovation
- Open to all businesses in Cork City who have prioritised and embraced sustainable business innovation practices and are now using these strategies to drive sustainable business growth. Entrants will need to demonstrate that new strategies are significantly more sustainable than previous practices and set their company on a path to a more sustainable future.
- 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 2016. Entrants will be asked to explain their business and to demonstrate how they have translated a great idea into a viable and successful business venture. They will also be asked to outline their 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.
- Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by Irish Hotels Federation, Cork Branch
- The Best Hotel award acknowledges excellence in service and accommodation. Entrants will demonstrate high class, flawless service in a comfortable, quality establishment, while both meeting and exceeding guest expectations, and how they have helped 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.
- 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.
- Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork
- The award for Best Cork Pub will be awarded to the pub that, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates ‘best in class’ in the areas of innovation, creativity, ambiance, operational excellence and customer service. Open to VFI Members only.
- 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. High standards are particularly important given the very severe challenges currently facing Ireland’s retail industry. It is critical that the retail industry plays its part in consistently improving its offering to attract more customers, keep retail workers in jobs and simultaneously keep Cork city centre vibrant which in turn will re-engage citizens and customers alike.
- Best Tourism Art Event, sponsored by Failte Ireland
- This award is designed to recognise and reward an organisation, attraction, business or event that has excelled in tourism, contributing to growing tourist numbers and /or the visitor experience in Cork.
- Best Professional Services Business, sponsored by B2B Signs
- 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.
- Best Cork Digital Business, sponsored by Cork Airport
- 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 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.
The CBA President’s Dinner and Cork Business of the Year Awards is always a highlight for local businesses and will take place in The Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Little Island, on Saturday February 25th 2023. Top chefs and award-winning producers will again unite to create a menu, based on the best Cork produce, that will enthral and delight the taste-buds. Tickets for this “must-attend” event are always in huge demand and will go on sale on January 3rd. Further details on the event will be updated on the dedicated CBA Awards website www.cbaawards.ie.
Last year the Cork Business Association recognised some notable achievements, with The Soho Bar Group and Sheena’s Boutique being named the overall winners in the large category and SME category respectively. Cork City Council elected members and executive were recognised as the Champion of Cork Award for their dedicated and focused leadership in proactively responding to the changing requirements of businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the areas of outdoor dining and public realm upgrades.
CBA President Kevin Herlihy concluded,
“We very much look forward to receiving this year’s submissions and would like to encourage all businesses located within the greater Cork city area to consider entering these prestigious awards.“The benefits of being part of the awards process are many, including association with the awards, public recognition for your hard work, plus marketing and networking opportunities.”
For further information see CBAAwards.ie