Twenty-one firms nominated for 2018 Limerick Chamber business awards

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Judy Tighe and Dermot Graham, AIB, Chamber president Dr Mary Shire, Conor O’Brien, Vicky Collins, Strand, Eoin Ryan, Chamber, Conor O'Sullivan, AIB and Chamber CEO Dee Ryan Picture: Shauna Kennedy

Judy Tighe and Dermot Graham, AIB, Chamber president Dr Mary Shire, Conor O’Brien, Vicky Collins, Strand, Eoin Ryan, Chamber, Conor O'Sullivan, AIB and Chamber CEO Dee Ryan Picture: Shauna Kennedy

SOME 21 companies have been nominated across seven categories at this year’s Limerick Chamber business awards.

At a special breakfast event this Wednesday morning in the Limerick Strand Hotel, the shortlist of local firms for The Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards 2018 was unveiled ahead of the big night that takes place on Friday, November ​16.

The awards, sponsored by LIT, will be hotly contested by 21 companies across seven categories, including the 2018 Overall Business of the Year and the President’s Award. 100 entries were submitted.

Electricity Exchange, Troy Studios and Metis Ireland have been nominated in the Best Emerging Business category.,

Meanwhile, Design Pro Automation, ResourceKraft and JJ O’Toole will battle it out for the title of best small to medium sized enterprise.

In the high-profile category of Best Large Business, the Shannon Group, Fexco and First Names Group are nominated.

The Best not​-for-profit award will go to either the Bluebox Centre, the Rape Crisis Centre or Novas Initiatives.

In terms of best retail and hospitality, Masterchefs, Matthew Stephens and the Absolute Hotel will contest for the title.​

And in the running for the best employer are Three Ireland, Collins McNicholas and H&MV Engineering.

Finally, in the category of best corporate social responsibility, the shortlisted companies are Optel Group, SL Controls and Cube Printing.

Out of all these, a business of the year will be selected.

And Chamber president Dr Mary Shire will also afford a special lifetime achievement award, to be revealed on the night.

Dee Ryan, Limerick Chamber CEO, said: “The standard of entry was so high that this year our Independent Judging Panel, chaired by former Entrepreneur of the Year, Anne Heraty, deliberated for more than 12 hours on reaching their decisions. It was nail-bitingly close for many categories with high-scoring entries narrowly missing out in a place in the final. All of the entrants can be very proud of their performances, the competition was stiff!”

Dr. Liam Brown, LIT, overall sponsors of the awards, said: “LIT is delighted to partner with Limerick Chamber in recognising the success and achievements of businesses in our region. As sponsors of these awards for the 8th year running, we are delighted to be involved in Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards as it is an opportunity to honour companies who are thriving and succeeding in the current economic climate.”

Over 400 guests are set to attend the event next month, which is the biggest social event on Limerick’s business calendar. The Limerick Leader is a media partner for the awards.

It has also been announced that AIB has become the principal sponsor of the Limerick Chamber President’s Dinner taking place on the night, as well as the official small to medium sized enterprise partner on a deal up to 2020.

Conor O’Sullivan, the head of the bank in Clare and Limerick said he is delighted with the deal.​

“The strategic objectives of AIB and Limerick Chamber around the SME sector are closely aligned, as both seek to help and support the various strands, from start-up to SME to corporate,” he said. 

“AIB is proud to partner with Limerick Chamber and this partnership will significantly help the Chamber in delivering its services and support to business in the Mid-West,” he added.

Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan added: “We are delighted to have the support of AIB as our official SME partner and for the president’s dinner, which is our flagship event where multinationals, large indigenous companies and SMEs in attendance.  

“This year the sponsorship from AIB allows us to ensure this continues to be the leading business event in the region.”