Business & Tourism Awards launched
The North Cork element of an innovative new county wide awards scheme aimed at recognising and rewarding excellence across the business and tourism sectors was officially launched this week at The Corkman office in Mallow.
Cork County Council together with AIB and media sponsors The Corkman are behind the inaugural Cork County Business and Tourism Awards, which were inspired by the success of a similar regional competition run in West Cork last year.
Split across three regions (North, South and West Cork), the awards will be shared across 11 categories in each area, with one winner being crowned overall 'Business of the Year'.
The category winners and the overall Business of the Year 2019 winner will be announced at a gala awards ceremony to be held in their respective regions in November.
The three regional overall winners will then go up against each other for the coveted 'County Business of the Year', the winner of which will be announced in early 2020.
Speaking at the launch of the North Cork awards, General Manager of The Corkman Siobhán Murphy said the newspaper was "honoured" to be involved with the initiative.
"We are all well aware how tough it has been for business in North Cork down through the years, so it is really great for people to get recognition for having the resilience to survive and prosper," said Ms Murphy.
"We feel it is particularly important that businesses are recognised in their own region. They can have national and international recognition, but it means so much more when they come from their area. Even if they are just shortlisted, this is their Oscars.
"It means they are up there with their peers and it is wonderful for us to be a part of something that does that," she added.
Ms Murphy said the awards also offered businesses a welcome platform to let people know exactly what they do and share in their success stories.
"The all encompassing nature of these awards means they are open to businesses of all sizes and from all backgrounds. The public may not be aware of what goes on behind the doors of these operations, so this is a chance to let them know and get the recognition they deserve."
Also speaking at the North Cork launch, the chief executive of Cork County Council, Mr Tim Lucey, said he was delighted The Corkman had come on board for the 2019 awards.
"We were looking internally at ways of how we as an organisation could get out there and recognise the value of business and tourism, which is why we jumped at the concept of last year's West Cork awards," said Mr Lucey.
He acknowledged that local business and tourism play a key role in the local authority's own role.
"We can tend to forget that half of our own business is funded by business and tourism. Last year we learned so much about the heart of West Cork and this year it will be the same for North Cork," he said.
Mr Lucey echoed the sentiments of Ms Murphy when he said it was important that tourism was a key element of the awards.
"Sometimes people do not recognise what North Cork has to offer. It is a tourism destination in its own right and I think that this initiative will really unearth stuff that will help us work more closely with the tourism sector in the future," he said.
For full details about the North Cork Business and Tourism Awards and how to enter the free competition visit www.corkcountybusinessandtourismawards.ie.