North Antrim MP Ian Paisley was awarded the ‘Commitment to Ballymena’ honour at the Ballymena Borough Business Excellence Awards held at the Tullyglass House Hotel.
The award was in recognition of his efforts on behalf of businesses in the Ballymena area.
Mr Paisley was nominated by various businesses including Moy Park, Dunbia and Michelin as well as Unite the Union, who represent over a thousand employees at the Gallaher JTI Factory in Ballymena.
In accolades paid to the MP Unite the Union said “Throughout Ian Paisley’s tenure as both MLA and now MP for North Antrim, he has been consistent and effective in his representation of our employees and their best interests.
“Few others have shown such loyalty and support. We are extremely grateful to have an MP who fights for his constituents and their livelihoods.”
Moy Park, another business which nominated Mr Paisley commented: “Ian works tirelessly for his constituency and we have personal experience of the much assistance he has provided to Moy Park, and formerly O’Kane Poultry, a significant employer in the town. Some of the work he has done has been away from the public eye and we believe it is important that it is recognised by receiving an award such as this.”
Mr Paisley commented “It is an honour and a thrill to receive such a prestigious award. I accept it on behalf of all my staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help deliver the best service possible to our constituents.
“I am fortunate to be part of a great Council and Assembly team who work very well together. I will strive to continue to work to the best of my ability on behalf of local businesses and constituents both within Ballymena and the North Antrim constituency as a whole.”
Mr Paisley’s award was one of 21 that were presented at the gala evening, the 11th of its kind, which covered all categories and age groups and attended by representatives of businesses from all across the Ballymena Borough.
Winners and finalists
Customer Service Award Retail Sector (Independent Retailer) – First Trust Bank: Winner Gloonan Gallery. Finalists -Elite Lighting, Waveney Eye Care (NI) Ltd, Projectwhite.
Customer Service Award Retail Sector (Multiple Retailer) – Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Winner Goldsmiths. Finalists - Ann Summers, Next, DW Sports Fitness.
Customer Service Award Convenience Store – McKillens Footwear: Winner Eurospar Cullybackey. Finalists - Spar Ahoghill, Spar Broughshane, Spar Doury Road.
Best Eating Establishment Award – Marcon Fit-Out: Winner Go Sun Restaurant. Finalists - Leighinmohr House Hotel, Millside Restaurant (Gracehill), The Grouse Inn.
Best Small Eatery/Coffee Shop Award – firmus energy: Winner Nobel Cafe. Finalists - Jensens Cafe (Highly Commended), The Buttermilk Tearoom @ The Enchanted Florist, Classic Cuisine.
Customer Service Award Service Sector – Riada Resourcing: Winner Halo Hairdressing. Finalists - The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, The Electric Chair, Jacqueline Kennedy Hairdressing and Grooming for Men.
Customer Service Award Hospitality Sector – Autoline Insurance Group: Winner Nobel Cafe. Finalists - Ground Espresso Bars, The Grouse Inn, Jensens Cafe.
Business Premises Award – Fairhill Shopping Centre: Winner K & G McAtamney - Wholesale Butchers. Finalists - Urban Beauty, Fullans Foodhall (Eurospar Portglenone), Eurospar Cullybackey.
Best Business Website Award – Danske Bank: Winner Marcon Fit-Out. Finalists -Grafton Recruitment, ballyprint.com, Glacier Water Systems.
Excellence in Customer Service Award – JTI: Winner Galgorm Resort and Spa. Finalists - Ulster Bank, GES Group (Grants Electrical Services), Autoline Insurance Group.
Right Place to Work Award – Black Advertising: Winner The Sitting Room Hairdressing. Finalists - Nampak Plastics, The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, GES Group (Grants Electrical Services)
Most Promising New Business Award – Into Business Magazine: Winner - Discover Everafter (GSS NI Ltd). Finalists - Slemish Design Studio, Tortraits Floral Design, Doggy Daycare.
Best Small Business Award – Michelin Tyre PLC. Winner Gilmore Engineering. Finalists - ballyprint.com, Designer Home Interiors, Onus (NI) Ltd.
Export Business of the Year Award – Wrightbus: Winner Francis Dinsmore Ltd. Finalist - Dunbia.
Innovation Award – Invest Northern Ireland: Winner Nampak Plastics. Finalists - Discover Everafter (GSS NI Ltd), Onus (NI) Ltd.
Involvement in the Community Award – Diamond Recruitment: Winner Ulster Bank. Finalists - Front Page Bar, Reaching Out.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Bank of Ireland: Winner Simon Murray (S M Designs). Finalist -Kieran McAtamney (K & G McAtamney – Butcher & Deli).
Apprentice of the Year Award – Northern Regional College: Winner Peter Brown (GES Group). Finalists - Kieran McIvor (Michelin Tyre PLC),Mark Reid (Dunbia).
Employee of the Year Award – Grafton Recruitment: Winner Rachel Doherty (GES Group). Finalists - Jody McCullough (Nampak Plastics), Roisin O’Neill (Nobel Café), Ann Marie Pedlow (Next).
Business Growth Award – Ulster Bank: Winner Francis Dinsmore Ltd. Finalists K & G McAtamney (Wholesale Butchers), Gilmore Engineering, Galgorm Resort and Spa.
Commitment to Ballymena Award – Ballymena Borough Council: Ian Paisley MP