AIB Business Eye Awards 2021: Northern Ireland’s Leading Business Awards Are Launched

Northern Ireland’s leading business awards have been launched for the spring of 2021 with a special virtual broadcast.

The 2021 AIB Business Eye Awards now in its 15th year, were launched at virtual event streamed live from NIAVAC’s hybrid studio in Belfast. Business Eye’s Richard Buckley and Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI at AIB, hosted the event which also included a live interview with previous award winner, Darragh McCarthy, Founder and CEO of FinTrU.

The AIB Business Eye Awards 2020 were originally planned for 26th November this year, but along with all other major events were postponed as a result of the Covid pandemic. The awards, honouring leading companies, organisations and business leaders, will instead take place on 13th May 2021 and the closing date for entries is 9th April 2021.

“The Covid crisis has hit the economy and the business community hard here in Northern Ireland, as it has elsewhere, but it’s really important that businesses and their employees can have something to look forward to, as well as something that recognises the hard work they put in day after day…whether they’re doing that from the office or from home,” says Brenda Buckley, Director of Business Eye.

 “We are hopeful that by May of next year, we will be able to welcome award winners, companies, business leaders and guests back to the kind of awards event we’ve all enjoyed so much over the year.”

Last year’s awards showcased an impressive array of winners at a memorable awards night held at ICC Belfast venue in front of a 750-strong audience.

Newry-based First Derivatives, one of the leaders in the dynamic fintech sector in Northern Ireland, lifted the coveted ‘Company of the Year’ award, while Brian McConville, Chairman of the MJM Group, was named as ‘Business Personality of the Year’.

Other key winners included Lisburn’s Creative Composites as ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, Armagh food processors Davisons in the ‘Family Business’ category and Harbinson Mulholland as the ‘Professional Services Firm’ of the Year.

The 2021 AIB Business Eye Awards spans 16 categories and includes some new awards.

“We felt that it was important that we recognised that we have been through the Covid era, so we will be honouring business leaders and companies who have risen up to and above the challenge of the pandemic,” adds Richard Buckley, Editor of Business Eye.

AIB, a key supporter of the Northern Ireland business community, has partnered Business Eye on its business awards for the past four years.

“These awards are an excellent platform to showcase and celebrate success and in doing so, encourage more organisations to prioritise growth, particularly in these difficult times.” says Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI, AIB UK

“A key pillar of AIB’s focus is to support businesses to overcome adversity and grow. In the past year, we’ve come across even more inspiring and innovative Stories of Brave from local companies as the tackle the double pronged challenges of Brexit and Covid. We encourage all our local business leaders to enter the awards and help celebrate success stories and best practice.”

The closing date for entries is Friday, 9th April 2021, with the judging panel due to meet shortly afterwards. Companies and individuals will be able to enter no less than 16 different categories covering most aspects of the local economy and business life.