Omagh Business Success Interviews

On Friday 25th October, business people from across Omagh & district gathered to celebrate and acknowledge the 2013 Omagh Business Awards, run in association with the Ulster Herald and Omagh Chamber of Commerce.

With 260 people in attendance at Kelly’s Inn, including guest speaker Billy Dixon of the Body Jigsaw, the stage was set for the biggest awards night of the year. The glittering occasion got off to a flying start with a video presentation of the short-listed nominees and a welcome by MC for the evening, BBC’s Louise Cullen.

After the meal, all the winners were announced and presented with their Award by the relevant sponsor with the main award of the night going to Ben O’Hanlon of Todds Leap, who was named as the Ulster Herald and Omagh Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year.


Omagh Business Success Interviews

Ben O’Hanlon, the 2013 Business Person of the Year

The award winners:

• Ulster Herald & Omagh Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year: Ben O’Hanlon of Todd’s Leap;

• Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by First Trust Bank. Winner: Brookmount Pharmacy. Highly commended recipients: Sally’s Bistro & She Ladies Boutique;

• Employer of the Year Award sponsored by Danske Bank. Winner: JMG Systems. Highly commended recipients: Tyrone Accountancy Services & Craft Recruitment & Training;

• Excellence in Marketing Award sponsored by Abac Chartered Accountants. Winner: Spires Vet Clinic. Highly commended recipients: White’s of Omagh & nineteen83;

• Retailer of the Year sponsored by Omagh District Council. Winner: She Ladies Boutique. Highly commended recipients: Russells & Sobelle;

• Best Eatery Award sponsored by Gortrush Food Services Ltd. – Coffee Shops & Cafes Winner: Riverfront. Highly commended recipients: The Melting Pot & L’Artisan Café. Restaurants Winner: Sally’s Bistro. Highly commended recipients: Foothills & Kampar;

• Best Start Up Business Award sponsored by Omagh Enterprise. Winner: KES Solar. Highly commended recipients: Hebe Aesthetic & Anti Ageing Clinic and Loughlion Design;

• Research & Development Award sponsored by Waste Systems Ltd and South West College. Winner: Contemporary Heritage. Highly commended recipients: Sperrin Environmental & Todds Leap;

• Growth Through Export Award sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland. Winner: Boyd Bedding. Highly commended recipients: Heavenly Tasty Organics & All Beverage Services.

• Special President’s Award for Entrepreneurship: Jamie Harkin of Sweet Treats.

Just before the formal proceedings got underway, Louise Cullen introduced the organisers’ representatives to speak: Julian McKeown, President, Omagh Chamber of Commerce and Nigel McDonagh, Editor, Ulster Herald.

Julian McKeown, president of Omagh of Commerce, hailed the evening as an “outstanding success,” saying that the awards illustrate the business strength and creativity, which exists throughout the local area.

“These Business Awards are about celebrating the success of local businesses and employers, recognising their hard work and paying tribute to their many achievements. Omagh has much to be proud of and the awards recognise not just the companies that contribute to the vibrancy of the District, but the talented and brilliant people employed within them across a range of business sectors. I would like to congratulate all the finalists and all our sponsors who have made the 2013 awards possible.”

Nigel McDonagh, editor of the Ulster Herald added, “The gala night was a huge success for everyone concerned with the local business community being acknowledged for its dedication and entrepreneurialism.

“A vibrant business community is essential as it forms the backbone of any local economy. The awards aim to raise company awareness, increase networking opportunities and improve company image and customer confidence. Ultimately, the awards recognise the efforts of local companies who have one thing in common, the dedication to achieve excellence.

The quality of all the entries confirms that the Omagh Business Awards are now well established as a way to reward and encourage excellence and good practice. We hope that all the shortlisted businesses will reap the reward of being profiled in the Ulster Herald.

The Awards ceremonyt, was a fitting finale for the Business Awards that launched back in June when businesses and individuals were asked to nominate themselves or others.

The awards process also included a judging panel, secret shoppers and a huge amount of in-paper publicity for all nominees short-listed.

Demand for tickets was unprecedented as supporters turned out to back the nominees in search for glory and what a night it was with gongs handed out to all the winners and finalists.