Speaking in the Braid on Thursday at a reception to launch the 2014 awards which have Ballymena Borough Council as principal sponsor, Mr Stewart said they help celebrate the huge contribution made to the borough by the local business community.
He revealed that judging will again be carried out entirely independent of Chamber by Insight Mystery Shopping to ensure the integrity of the awards which he encouraged all local businesses to enter.
“There are 21 categories so there is an award to suit everyone. I look forward to seeing you all at the Gala evening, said Mr Stewart who thanked all the awards sponsors and awards brochure supporters, in particular Ballymena Borough Council.
“Council has always been a great supporter of both the awards and Chamber in general and the working relationship between Council and Chamber is stronger now than it has ever been. I assure you that Chamber will do everything to make this year’s awards the most successful yet,” he said.
Ballymena Mayor, Audrey Wales MBE said: “As principal sponsor, Ballymena Borough Council remains committed to ensuring that each and every business within the Borough is provided with the assistance and support to grow and prosper ensuring the future prosperity of Ballymena.
“Council recognises the significant benefits commerce brings to an area and as a Council we lead the way in working in partnership with local businesses to bring mutual benefits to our borough. Ballymena Borough Council’s Corporate Plan 2012-2016 focuses on creating jobs, increasing skills and education, growing our local economy, improving health and wellbeing of our citizens, delivering quality, value for money services and continuing to invest in a strong and shared future for the people and place of the Borough of Ballymena. This clearly indicates our commitment to Ballymena, making it a great place to be.
“I commend Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their dedication in organising this significant event again for the twelfth year and in their ability in gaining more and more participation each year.”
The entrants will find out if they’ve won at the Gala Awards evening which will take place on October 30 in Tullyglass House Hotel.
This year’s categories and respective sponsors are -
Customer Service Awards Sector - Independent Retailer First Trust
Customer Service Awards Sector - Multiple Retailer Power NI
Customer Service Awards - Convenience Store K&G McAtamney’s
Customer Service Award - Service Sector Riada Resourcing
Customer Service Award - Hospitality Sector Autoline
Best Eating Establishment Award Marcon Fit Out
Best Small Eatery/Coffee Shop Award firmus energy
Business Premises Award Fairhill Centre
Best Business Website Award Danske Bank
Excellence in Customer Service Award JTI
Right Place to Work Award Black Advertising
Most Promising New Business Award Ballymena Business Centre
Best Small Business Award Michelin Tyre PLC
Export Business of the Year Wrightbus
Innovation Award Invest NI
Involvement in the Community Award Diamond Recruitment
Entrepreneur of the Year Award Bank of Ireland
Apprentice of the Year Award Northern Regional College
Employee of the Year Award Grafton Recruitment
Business Growth Award Ulster Bank
Commitment to Ballymena Award Ballymena Borough Council