Call to honour top 50 businesses from across city

Top 50 nominations now open

By Paul Ainsworth

N OMINATIONS are being sought for South Belfast’s business heroes who are fighting recession and encouraging growth in a tough economic climate.

This year will be the eighth annual Belfast Business Top 50 celebration, and successful individuals and companies from right across the city will be honoured at a ceremony in Stormont’s Long Gallery on Thursday October 18.

The evening will be devoted to businesses that champion the changing face of Belfast and show resilience despite the challenges thrown up by the economy.

Businessmen and women, both long-established veterans and ambitious newcomers will be represented on the Top 50 list. From executives of major, recognised companies, to dedicated small business owners, entrepreneurship which “drives the city forward” will be honoured. Founded by the Belfast Media Group, the awards are supported by LBM, United, and Foras Na Gaelige.

This year Invest NI is once again sponsoring the ‘Growth Award’, which will be presented to a company that has demonstrated exceptional levels of business growth over the past 12 months. Over the coming weeks, a panel of assessors will decide on three shortlisted firms, and be dispatched for a detailed site visit before deciding on the 2012 recipient.

Previous winners of the Growth Award include Suki Tea, Rehab Studios, Bubble NI LTD, and Adelaide Insurance.

Oonagh Hinds, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Office Manager said: “We are proud to recognise the drive and determination of Belfast’s business community by sponsoring the Belfast Top 50 Awards for another year.

“One of our core priorities is to help existing businesses to grow and develop through export success and innovation. Competitions like this showcase local business success to the wider community and highlight their role in developing Northern Ireland’s vibrant and successful economy.”

Lough Shore Investments is the returning sponsor of the prestigious ‘Best Start-Up Award’, which promotes a firm no older than three years, and with at least one employee. Founding partner Danny Moore said: “Everyday we are bowled over by the verve and passion of our young entrepreneurs. This event gives us a chance to salute the very best of the young businesses, which will drive us out of recession and ensure Belfast is regarded as a global hub of enterprise and endeavour.”

The Eighth annual Belfast Business Top 50 celebration will be marked by the publication of a special South Belfast News print and online supplement profiling this year’s honorees and celebrating their achievements.

Nominations close on Friday September 28, and to nominate a person or company, visit www.belfastmedia group.com/top50. Completed nomination forms can also be returned to Orlaith Adams, Belfast Media Group, Teach Basil, 2 Hannahstown Hill, Belfast BT17 0LT or emailed to o.adams@belfastmediagroup.com. For more information call 02890 611916, or follow the twitter hashtag #Biz50.

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