SHANNON Airport chairman Rose Hynes has appealed to people across Limerick to keep using the base to allow it further growth.
In recognition of the work she has done in reviving Shannon, Ms Hynes won the President’s Award at the annual Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards held on Friday.
More than 450 local business people were at the Strand Hotel for the gala dinner, the highlight of the Chamber’s calendar.
Eight businesses from across Limerick - six in the city - were honoured by the Limerick Chamber, while its president Dr Fergal Barry picked Ms Hynes to receive the special recognition award.
Upon receiving the prize - to a standing ovation from the room - Ms Hynes admitted she was “overwhelmed”.
Shannon has significantly grown its passenger base in the 11 months since being set free of the Dublin Airport Authority.
But Ms Hynes said the one way to ensure Shannon continues its growth is for people to avail of the new routes on offer at the airport.
“We are making lots of progress. But we must do an awful lot more, and we will. People have to use Shannon, and to see Shannon as their airport. This is my message - the one way to get more flights and more routes, is to fill the ones we have,” she said.
Among the city companies, there were prizes for Matthew Stephens Jewellers (Best Retail and Hospitality), the Pig ‘n’ Porter Tag Rugby festival (Best Sport, Art and Culture), Masterchefs Hospitality (Best Large Indigenous), and Nualtra (Best Start-up/Emerging).
Financial governance firm Glass Lewis, based in Henry Street, won the award for the Best Foreign Direct Investment company, while Annacotty-based school dinner supplier CarambolaKidz won the prize for best small business.
The prestigious Limerick Chamber business of the year prize went to Adare agricultural machinery company Samco.
The awards ceremony featured a keynote address by Department of Finance secretary general John Moran and City of Culture chairman, Pat Cox.