Search is on for Cork Chamber Company of the Year

Firms across Cork have been urged to enter this year’s Cork Chamber Company of the Year Awards by previous winners who said the accolade had opened new doors to business.

Bill O'Connell, Debbie Power, John Higgins and Barbara-Anne Richardson. Pictures: Gerard McCarthy

The awards, now in their 21st year, celebrate the best of business in Cork across varying sectors from emerging companies to SMEs to large indigenous and multinational organisations.

At the launch of the awards at Cork Chamber’s headquarters, last year’s winner of the SME Company of the Year, Irish International Trading Corporation (IITC), said the honour of winning last January was still reaping benefits.

Managing director David Heffernan said: “It was hugely rewarding and brings out the best in you. It took us four years of entering to win it and our staff really bought into the process. We still have people talking to us about it today, even internationally. We were surprised just how many clients know about us winning the award when they come to us. There is nothing negative at all about entering.”

Orla Flynn of CIT and Sean Kelly, Everyman, at the launch of the awards yesterday.

Dairygold was Overall Winner of Cork Company of the Year 2017. Chief executive Jim Woulfe said: “We were very honoured to accept the award as an organisation so deeply embedded within the Cork region.”

The awards are in partnership with Vodafone Ireland, while the Irish Examiner is media partner.

Chamber president Bill O’Connell said: “We are delighted to have Vodafone as our partners and the Irish Examiner as our media partners which together has enabled us to grow and strengthen these awards.”

Mary Power, Westboro Partners, and Joanne Higgins, Cope, were also at the launch.

He said the Cork Company of the Year Awards offered businesses “an excellent platform to champion their success and put themselves in the spotlight”.

Mr O’Connell added: “Companies and their diverse workforces are central to their communities and throughout this year’s judging process we are looking to highlight those that have active corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in place.”

The four award categories are Emerging Cork Company of the Year (less than three years in business); Cork SME Company of the Year (fewer than 50 employees); Cork Large Company of the Year (50-200 employees); and Cork Corporate of the Year (more than 200 employees).

To complete the entry form or to nominate a company, see

Closing date for all completed applications is Thursday, October 26. Winners in each category along with the Overall Cork Company of the Year will be announced at the Cork Chamber Annual Dinner on February 2, where close to 1,000 business people will attend.

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