Local Business Awards Launched

The 2014 Omagh Business Awards, organised by the Ulster Herald and Omagh Chamber of Commerce, were officially launched last week, celebrating the dedication, commitment and success of businesses throughout the district.

With the entry process now open, businesses can enter any of the nine awards on offer and recipients will be announced at a gala dinner in Kelly’s Inn on Friday, October 24, 2014.

Last year’s winner was well know entrepreneur Ben O’Hanlon of Todds Leap. Speaking at the launch of this year’s awards, Ben said, “Winning the Business Person of the Year award was a special moment, I could hardly believe it! I started Todds Leap in the late 1980s and it was a pipe dream. It was a tough grind. We began with one landrover and a big dream and wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and kept at it until we made it the business it is today. I’d encourage businesses to enter the awards as it’s great publicity and a great night out!”

This year, there are 9 award categories up for grabs and by entering you can raise your profile, prove your excellence, acknowledge your team efforts and impress partners and clients.

First up is the Excellence in Customer Service award – this is for non eatery establishments which are committed to the highest levels of service to each and every customer. Businesses who have come into existence in the past two years can compete for the Best Start-Up Business award, while a gong is also on offer for those demonstrating export excellence in the Growth Through Export Award.

Three new awards have been added this year opening up the door for businesses which have shown outstanding contribution to local tourism in the Excellence in Leisure & Tourism Award, for businesses who have implemented innovative training and/or personnel development initiatives in the Excellence in People Development Award and also the Best Rural Business for those performing successfully and are based outside the Omagh town boundary.

The final two awards will see a slight change in format with the winners decided upon by Ulster Herald readers. The Retailer of the Year award is for retailers of all sizes displaying ambition, energy, skill and vision whilst the Eatery award is for ‘eateries’ who can prove an enhanced customer service dining experience.

Highlighting the benefits of the Awards, Nigel McDonagh, Ulster Herald title editor, stated, “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to enter an awards initiative that will recognise and reward success, talent and all that’s good about business in the Omagh area. The Ulster Herald is delighted to be co-organiser of the biggest, most positive business event here in mid Tyrone and we look forward to another hugely successful awards event.”

President of Omagh Chamber of Commerce, Dominic McClements added, “The Omagh Business Awards are a recognition of the local entrepreneurs and businesses who have made things happen. These are firms that have excelled in customer service, development, export, and innovation,” he explained. “They have all met their challenges head on and continue to play their part in creating a vibrant enterprise economy here in Omagh.”


With the awards launched, individuals and businesses are invited to enter via www.ulsterherald.com. After the closing date, 22nd August, the judging panel will then shortlist with guaranteed free publicity for all the nominees in advance of the gala awards night and also at the awards night.

Any business or individual is invited to nominate themselves or others for any of the categories on offer. The awards are free to enter and open to any business in Omagh and district.


For further information on any of the above please contact Elaine Fyffe Harper at Omagh Chamber of Commerce on 028 8224 9494/07734389484 or admin@omaghchamber.com


  • Best Start Up Business Award, sponsored by Omagh Enterprise
  • Growth through Export Award, sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland
  • Excellence in People Development Award, sponsored by Bank of Ireland
  • Best Rural Business Award, sponsored by SSE Airtricity
  • Excellence in Customer Service Award (non eatery), sponsored by First Trust Bank
  • Excellence in Leisure and Tourism Award, sponsored by Danske Bank
  • Retailer of the Year Award (Readers), sponsored by Omagh District Council
  • Eatery of the Year Award (Readers), sponsored by Gortrush Food Services
  • Business Person of the Year Award, sponsored by Omagh Chamber of Commerce and the Ulster Herald

Source: ulsterherald.com