Larne Business Awards help grow local economy

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe is pictured with Valerie Martin, Group Editor Johnston Press NI,  and David Gillespie from Ledcom at the official launch of the 2016 Larne Times Larne Business Awards in Larne Town Hall. INLT 07-007-PSB

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe is pictured with Valerie Martin, Group Editor Johnston Press NI, and David Gillespie from Ledcom at the official launch of the 2016 Larne Times Larne Business Awards in Larne Town Hall. INLT 07-007-PSB

Mid and East Antrim Council has identified the Larne Business Awards as an important building block in constructing a strong local economy.

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, underlined the council’s commitment to ensuring that every business within the Borough is provided with the assistance and support needed to grow and prosper.

He added: “Council recognises the significant benefits a strong economy brings to an area and as a Council we lead the way in working in partnership with local businesses to bring mutual benefits to our Borough. We recognise that the development and retention of skills in the local economy is a key driver for economic success and sustainability and we are keen to work with our partners to ensure the right support mechanisms are in place.”

Cllr Ashe described the awards as “a great opportunity to pay tribute to the talent, entrepreneurship and excellence that exists across the full range of business and commerce in the Larne area”. And he urged: “By entering, businesses will not only have the opportunity to gain recognition and publicity for their achievements, but also the opportunity to boost staff morale, company image and customer confidence.”

Fifteen awards will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner in the Ballygally Castle Hotel on Thursday, June 9.

To begin with, we need nominations. Absolutely anyone can make a nomination and we offer the option of doing so either in print or online.

Every Wednesday until nominations close on April 11, we will publish a nomination form in the Larne Times (see page opposite), along with criteria for all the categories.

We also have an entire section dedicated to the Larne Business Awards 2016 on the home page of the Larne Times web sit. Shortcut here http://www.larnetimes.co.uk/news/larne-business-awards-2016

If you need further info, please contact Julie Forde on 028 38395504 or Karen Fitzmaurice 028 38395564.

We are grateful to the council, as main sponsor, and Forever Living Products who for the third successive awards are associate sponsors.

Power ni are sponsoring the Best Customer Service award; P&O Ferries the award for Excellence In Tourism; and renewable energy developer Gaelectric will present the Best Environmental Business Award.

LEDCOM is sponsoring a new category, for the Best Start-up Business opened in the past two years.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council sponsors the Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to business life in the Larne area. Nominations are invited now for this and all the 14 other categories.

Valerie Martin, Johnston Press NI group editor, said the biennial awards are always keenly contested. “The Larne Times has organised the awards on the past three occasions and we know, from our experience and the tremendous response in the past, that the awards are highly prized,” she added.

“Competition is made all the keener by the range of categories, meaning that every nominee – from the smallest start-up to the area’s biggest employers – have equal opportunity to win an award.”