Ennis Chamber launched ‘Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards 2021’ on July 14th. Clare County Council is the main sponsor and will present the overall ‘Clare Business of the Year 2021’ Award, at the Awards Gala to take place at glór Theatre on October 28.
Focusing on the Positive
After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, Ennis Chamber President Darragh McAllister commented, “We were determined not to let this year slip by without celebrating the achievements and resilience of the business community in County Clare. We are therefore delighted to launch this event and look forward to lively engagement from businesses across Co. Clare over the coming weeks and months.
These awards are about focusing on the positive. Every business was impacted by the pandemic, we all had to learn new ways to deliver our business model, while some businesses were forced to pivot just to survive.”
New Categories and New Sponsors
Two new categories have been introduced to this year’s awards list to reflect the changing business landscape. The ‘Resilience Award’, sponsored by Cup Print will recognise a business that pivoted, modified their business model or introduced a new service, in order to adapt to changed conditions and demands.
The ‘Commitment to Training Award’, sponsored by Regional Skills Mid-West, will celebrate businesses that leveraged readily available training opportunities since March 2020, to ramp up management and employee skills. The pandemic has taught us we need to be prepared for, and to be agile and imaginative in our response to change. Accredited training is key to that preparedness. This category is open to businesses from all sectors and to companies large and small.
Cllr. PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, congratulated Ennis Chamber on launching the Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards 2021. “It’s important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our business community here in Co. Clare. So many of them reacted positively to what were very difficult circumstances. These awards will provide a great showcase for the businesses that showed determination, fighting spirit and innovation.
He added, “Clare County Council is very pleased to take on the leadership role of overall sponsor, as we have done in recent years. This year more than any I can remember in my lifetime we need to salute the tenacity and the bravery of our business community, whose owners and managers put their shoulder to the wheel to ensure their business come out the other side of the pandemic stronger and primed for success.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, acknowledged the challenging year experienced by all businesses in Clare. “As a local authority we have played a leading role in ensuring all businesses in Clare were able to access appropriate financial supports under the various Covid schemes, this included the Restart Grant, rates waivers, outdoor dining schemes, business continuity planning, mentoring support and funding to enable our local businesses develop their online sales capability. We also worked with our local communities and businesses to develop appropriate solutions for the re-opening of retail and hospitality.
While more challenges lie ahead, it is important we recognise the proactive response Clare businesses have demonstrated to an unprecedented event. This year’s awards are an important step to acknowledge not only the individual winners, but also the collective resilience of our many businesses. We will emerge better and stronger.”
Margaret O’Brien, CEO., Ennis Chamber said, “These awards would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Some have supported us for many years, and we thank them sincerely for their continued support, while others, including Rengen Power, Regional Skills Mid-West, Ability IT Solutions, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau and the Clare Echo are new sponsors whom we warmly welcome on board. With a comprehensive list of categories open to businesses large and small from all sectors, we look forward to receiving entries which can be competed online at:
Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards 2021
Categories & Sponsors
BEST GREEN & SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES Sponsored by Rengen Power
BEST MICRO BUSINESS (employing 10 people or less) Sponsored by Clare Local Enterprise Office
BUSINESS SUPPORTING COMMUNITY Sponsored by Essilor
CLARE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES EXCELLENCE AWARD Sponsored by AIB
BEST TOURISM EXPERIENCE IN CLARE Sponsored by L.I.T.
BEST HOSPITALITY Sponsored by Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau
BEST USE OF DIGITAL MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA Sponsored by the Clare Echo
CLARE RETAILER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Ability IT Solutions
CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE Sponsored by McKeogh Gallagher Ryan Accountants
COMMITMENT TO TRAINING Sponsored by Regional Skills Mid-West
RESILIENCE AWARD Sponsored by Cup Print
BEST VOLUNTARY/COMMUNITY GROUP IN CLARE Sponsored by St Francis Credit Union OVERALL
Overall Winner – ‘CLARE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2021’ Sponsored by the awards lead sponsor – Clare County Council
Judging and Closing Dates
Independent adjudicators Spotcheck Northern Ireland will complete mystery visits for categories involving retail, hospitality, tourism and customer service. For categories depending on written submissions an independent expert panel has been established to adjudicate.
Closing date (for mystery visit categories) August 16, 2021
Closing date (written submission categories) August 23, 2021
Finalists will be announced in late September. Winners will be revealed and awards will be presented at a ceremony at glór Theatre on October 28, with stand-up comedian Colm O’Regan as MC. The event will also be broadcast to encourage and facilitate maximum participation.
For further information please contact: Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber 086 6009045