In pictures: Celebrating Ballymena business

Arlene McConaghy (2nd left) of sponsors Riada Resourcing presents the Customer Service Award  Service Sector, to Lisa Compton, Gillian McQuillan (left) and Stephanie Martin (right) of My O My Clinic.
Arlene McConaghy (2nd left) of sponsors Riada Resourcing presents the Customer Service Award  Service Sector, to Lisa Compton, Gillian McQuillan (left) and Stephanie Martin (right) of My O My Clinic.

Ballymena businesses were out in force at the Gala evening in Tullyglass House Hotel to celebrate the 15th Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.

The awards are organised annually by Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the principal sponsor this year was Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Rachel Doherty of sponsors GES Group presents the Best Business Website Award to Gareth and Pamela Dickey of Flax Creative Studio

Rachel Doherty of sponsors GES Group presents the Best Business Website Award to Gareth and Pamela Dickey of Flax Creative Studio

Sarah Travers was the compere for the evening and her first duty was to invite Chamber President Ronan McCann to speak.

Ronan said: “On behalf of Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here tonight to celebrate our 15th Ballymena Business Excellence Awards. The fact that there are over 400 people present here this evening clearly illustrates the high esteem in which the local business community hold this event.

“Tonight is about celebrating the success of the Ballymena Business Community and focusing on the huge contribution made by local businesses and to highlight the commitment made by individuals. As a Chamber we see this as an excellent event to promote Ballymena to the rest of Northern Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business.

“I would like to thank all our sponsors, especially our principal sponsor Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Chamber has had an excellent working relationship with the Council in recent years and we look forward to building on that relationship in the future. To our individual category sponsors, many of whom return year on year to support the awards, we really are grateful for your support”.

President of the Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ronan McCann presents the Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media Award to Scott McGarry (right) and Gareth Gault of Scott McGarry Health & Fitness.

President of the Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ronan McCann presents the Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media Award to Scott McGarry (right) and Gareth Gault of Scott McGarry Health & Fitness.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is delighted and proud to be the principal sponsor of the hugely prestigious Ballymena Business Excellence Awards.

“Council is fully committed to supporting business growth and development, and promoting an environment that encourages and facilitates investment in our Borough.

“We have committed to creating a vibrant business culture and we are proactively seeking to build on our strengths in advanced manufacturing, retail and agri-food, while supporting the growth of new industry sectors, including digital, tourism, financial and business services.

“Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry is dedicated to a flourishing local economy and has been organising these awards for many years now, which contribute positively to overall economic development and prosperity.

Eamon Doherty of sponsors RiverRidge presents the Best Eating Establishment Award to Anne and Patrick McGarry of Millside Restaurant, Gracehill.

Eamon Doherty of sponsors RiverRidge presents the Best Eating Establishment Award to Anne and Patrick McGarry of Millside Restaurant, Gracehill.

“We recognise this significant contribution and are proud to continue to support these awards which recognise the achievements of our local businesses and business people in helping us all to build a stronger economy for the benefit of all our citizens.

“We celebrate the talent, entrepreneurship and ambition of our local business leaders and pay tribute to their unrelenting and inspirational commitment to Ballymena and Mid and East Antrim.”

Chamber would like to thank Tullyglass House Hotel for their excellent food and service. The highlight of the evening of course was the presentation of the awards and the atmosphere was electric. The evening was rounded off with entertainment by magician Rodd Hogg and dancing to the Bizz.

During the evening a raffle was held with the proceeds going to the NI Hospice. Chamber would like to thank the following businesses for donating prizes for the raffle:

Ballymena BID

Bank of Ireland

Galgorm Castle Golf Club

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Michelin Tyre PLC

NI Hospice

Fiona McCoy of sponsors First Trust Bank presents the Customer Service Award  Independent Retailer, to Eoghan OBrien of Bannside  Pharmacy

Fiona McCoy of sponsors First Trust Bank presents the Customer Service Award  Independent Retailer, to Eoghan OBrien of Bannside Pharmacy

Tullyglass House Hotel

Chris and Audrey Wales

Chamber is delighted that £3250 was raised for the Hospice and thank everyone for their generosity.

Awards and category sponsors:- Winners listed first and shortlisted entries below.

Customer Service Award Retail Sector (Independent Retailer) – First Trust Bank

Bannside Pharmacy

The Jewellers Workshop

K & G McAtamney Butcher & Deli

Bespoke Decor

Customer Service Award Retail Sector (Multiple Retailer) – Power NI

Eurospar Cullybackey

McAtamney’s Ballymena

Holland & Barrett

McAtamney’s Galgorm

Best use of Digital and/or Social Media Award – Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Scott McGarry Health and Fitness

Homes Independent

Ballymena BID

Gazelle Communications

Best Eating Establishment Award – RiverRidge

Millside Restaurant Gracehill

Eagle Bar and Grill

Go Sun Restaurant

Adair Arms Hotel

Best Small Eatery/Coffee Shop Award – firmus energy

Toast Cullybackey

Chocoa Couture Chocolate House

Frew’s Fish and Chips Ahoghill

Gwen’s Café

Customer Service Award Service Sector – Riada Resourcing

My O My Clinic

The Jewellers Workshop

First Trust Bank

Mortgage IQ

Customer Service Award Hospitality Sector – Autoline Insurance Group

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Toast Cullybackey

Gwen’s Cafe

Millside Restaurant Gracehill

Business Premises Award – Fairhill Shopping Centre

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Bannside Pharmacy

The Wool Tower (Raceview Mill)

Innovation Award – Robinson’s of Ballymena

Brilliant Trails

Gladiator Training

McKeown PAT Testing

Best Business Website Award – GES Group

Flax Creative Studio

Martin and Hamilton

Utility Bear

Harry Clarke & Co

Right Place to Work Award – Black Advertising

GES Group

McCarroll McConnell & Co

Autoline Insurance Group

Most Promising New Business Award – Bank of Ireland UK

Utility Bear

Gladiator Training

Willow Beauty

Amanda Kyle Photography Studio

Best Small Business Award – Michelin Tyre PLC

Hot Milk Forge

Scott McGarry Health and Fitness

Rococo Restaurant

Export Business of the Year – Danske Bank

NCS Finishing Ltd

MET Healthcare

Outdoor Adventure

Social Enterprise of the Year Award – Ballymena Business Centre

Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union

Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership

Onus (NI) Ltd

Advance Engineering Group

Involvement in the Community Award – McKillens Footwear

First Trust Bank

Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union

Eurospar Cullybackey

The Front Page Bar

Best Creative Business Award – Millside Restaurant Gracehill

Hot Milk Forge

Brilliant Trails

Grafters Media

Tilly Annas

Best Young Person in Business Award – Northern Regional

College

Aaron Klewchuk (ballyprint.com)

Gillian Matthews (Willow Beauty)

Brendan Dunne (NCS Finishing Ltd)

Eamonn Higgins (Hot Milk Forge)

Employee of the Year Award – Grafton Recruitment

Darren Thompson (Utility Bear)

Stephen Arbuthnot (Advance Engineering Group)

Karen McGovern (Signal)

Curtis Nicholl (The Sitting Room Hairdressing)

Business Growth Award – Ulster Bank

K & G McAtamney Wholesale Meats

NCS Finishing Ltd

Garage Door Systems

McAtamney’s Ballymena

Alison Moore representing sponsors McKillen Footwear, presents the Involvement in the Community Award to Nuala Kearns and Fiona McCoy of First Trust Bank

Alison Moore representing sponsors McKillen Footwear, presents the Involvement in the Community Award to Nuala Kearns and Fiona McCoy of First Trust Bank

Sue Robinson (centre) of sponsors Firmus Energy presents the Best Small Eatery/Coffee Shop Award to Lynette Miller (left) and Leanne Wiseman of Toast, Cullybackey.

Sue Robinson (centre) of sponsors Firmus Energy presents the Best Small Eatery/Coffee Shop Award to Lynette Miller (left) and Leanne Wiseman of Toast, Cullybackey.

Ronan McCann of sponsors Black Advertising presents the Right Place to Work Award to Jasmine McIlroy and Rachel Doherty of GES Group

Ronan McCann of sponsors Black Advertising presents the Right Place to Work Award to Jasmine McIlroy and Rachel Doherty of GES Group

Aaron Ennis of sponsors Danske Bank presents the Export Business of the Year Award to Brendan Dunne of NCS Finishing Ltd

Aaron Ennis of sponsors Danske Bank presents the Export Business of the Year Award to Brendan Dunne of NCS Finishing Ltd

Raymond Ruck of sponsors Michelin Tyre presents the Best Small Business Award to Eamon  Higgins of Hot Milk Forge

Raymond Ruck of sponsors Michelin Tyre presents the Best Small Business Award to Eamon Higgins of Hot Milk Forge