Business leaders from across Co. Clare gathered at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis for the launch of the FBD Business Excellence Awards on June 17.
Led by Pat Breen, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, a diverse range of speakers spoke of the recognition that these awards can bring to businesses in Clare. The details of the lucrative prize package for the overall winner were also announced by the President of Ennis Chamber Jean McCabe.
Amounting to a value of over €10,000, a business suite of services in addition to a significant web design and development package is up for grabs. Mr Breen paid tribute to previous entrants, finalists and winners of the awards and noted their importance in promoting small businesses in the area.
He also took the opportunity to promote the Irish government’s commitment to nurture and support entrepreneurial culture, referring to the first National Statement on Entrepreneurship in 2014. Attendees heard from a number of Ennis Chamber members who shared their positive business stories and offered advice on how to succeed.
Barry Pactor, group managing director of TTM Healthcare, recalled the growth of his company from a ‘Start your own Business’ course. He added that he would be happy to share the experience by collaborating with other businesses in the region in looking at new opportunities.
David Collins, chief operations officer of the Great National Hotels Group, gave some advice to entrepreneurs who are starting in a business with very little finance. He explained how they must have belief in themselves and their product if they are to reach their goals.
And David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland was keen to stress the importance of credit for small business in order to foster growth. He also touched on the work of Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber and their efforts to attract new business to Ennis which should see the opening of three additional businesses in the town.
The event closed with a speech by Ennis Chamber CEO Rita McInerney who encouraged businesses across the county to enter the awards. She suggested that each business enter at least one of the nine categories, given that they provide a decent marker for where a business currently lies.
She added that the detailed feedback report, which every entrant to the awards will receive, is an invaluable resource going forward. “It will assist businesses in enhancing their product or service offering as well as imputing future plans,” she said.
• Full details of the FBD Clare Business Excellence Awards can be found at: www.ennischamber.ie/se rvices/business-awards