John Hurley, Margaret Clancy, Marion Acreman and Cathal Smyth
Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce, in association with the main sponsor, State Street, has announced the finalists in the Kilkenny Business Awards 2018.
The response to the county-wide call for nominations from local businesses has been extremely positive having received almost 400 nominations.
The adjudication panel have examined over 150 applications, and 44 local enterprises have now been shortlisted to go forward for the interview on 24th October.
During the interview round, finalists make a presentation before a panel of three Kilkenny business peers, where a points system is used to determine the winners.
Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce CEO, John Hurley, said that he was ‘delighted that so many diverse local businesses have engaged with the Kilkenny Business Awards this year’.
The 19 category winners and the overall Business of the Year award will be announced at the awards ceremony along with the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ and ‘President’s Award’.
Finalists in the Kilkenny Business Awards for Customer Service Excellence are Smithwick’s Experience, Castlecomer Discovery Park and MW Hire.
In the Investment in Skills, Training and Development of Staff, the finalists are Gaeltec Utilities, CDS Metalwork and 3CEA. In the category of Agri Business, the finalists are Connollys Redmills, Hughes Farming and Philip Ireland Tyres. In the running for Service Provider of the Year are St. Canice’s Credit Union, KCLR96fm and Cleere Life & Pensions.
Finalists in the Information, Communications and Technology category are Square Root Solutions, KCLR96fm and atech, while in the running for Exporter of the Year are McCurdy Associates, Connollys Redmills and Beotanics.
In the category of Craft Producer are Yvonne Ross Jewellery and Spirit Jewellery and up for Employer of the Year are CDS Metalwork, McDowells Pharmacy Callan and T J Reid Health & Fitness.
Finalists in the Innovation in Business category are Dairy Geyser, Paris Texas and Square Root Solutions, while in the running for Excellence in Hospitality are Springhill Court Hotel, Newpark Hotel and Paris Texas.
In the Emerging New Business category, the Hungry Moose, Roche Injury Clinic and the Cutting Vedge have all been selected, while Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny Design Centre and Apple Tree Montessori are all up for the Employee of the Year.
This year there is a new category of Social Enterprise and the finalists here are Castlecomer Discovery Park, St. Canice’s Credit Union and Kilkenny Salt Therapy, while Fanad Guesthouse, Pat Gannon Auctioneers and Farm and Industrial Supplies are all up for Family Business of the Year.
In the running for Food & Drink Producer of the year are Dinners for Winners, Costello’s Brewing and Ballykeefe Distillery, while Smithwick’s Experience, Kyteler’s Inn and Frank Kavanagh Tours have all been selected in the Culture, Heritage and Tourism Award.
Companies vying for the Small Business of the Year Award are McCullagh Lupton Quinn, Suzanne Freeman Interiors and City Hair Studio.
The companies selected for an Environment Award are Ballykeefe Distillery, 3CEA and The Cutting Vedge; and Kilkenny Design Centre, David Buggy Motors and Belle Femme Lingerie are all up for the Retailer of the Year Award.
Tickets are now available for the black-tie gala event which takes place on Saturday 17th November at the Lyrath Estate Hotel, and which will be hosted by RTÉ broadcaster, Mary Kennedy. They can be purchased on-line at www.kilkennychamber.ie or by calling 056 7752767.