Belfast Based Businesses Triumph At BEFTAs

Belfast Based Businesses Triumph At BEFTAs
Louise Smyth, Managing Director at MCS Group (sponsor) pictured with Gareth Dunlop, Jim Morrison, Sophia Bradley and Andrew McCrea from Fathom picking up the award for Technology Business of the Year at the 2018 BEFTAs

It was a successful evening for Belfast businesses at the fourth annual Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards, known as the BEFTAs, which recently took place at Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, hosted by television personality Marc Mallett.

There were wins for companies across Belfast including Diversity NI who came top in the ‘Community Contribution’ category and Modius who won ‘Healthcare Business of the Year’. The ‘Hospitality and Tourism Business of the Year’ trophy went to the Belfast Tattoo, and  Dunmurray based Uberfone was named ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’. ProAxsis won the award for ‘Innovative Business of the Year’ and Catalyst Inc won the ‘Small Business Marketing’ Award.

The technology category of the awards was dominated by Belfast based businesses with Allsop, Nimbus and the overall category winner Fathom, all from the city.

The awards which are organised by Business Eye magazine and supported by First Trust Bank, shine a light on Northern Ireland’s small business sector and recognised its top performers across 14 different categories, celebrating industry and business success as well as innovation, customer support and community contribution.

Speaking at the 2018 Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards, Head of Business Banking at First Trust Bank, Seamus McGuckin, said;

“Northern Ireland’s small business community, which together with medium businesses and self-employed people account for more than 75% of turnover across NI’s private sector, should be immensely proud. If it wasn’t for their contribution, Northern Ireland as a region and as an economy would not be fairing as well as it is in light of ongoing economic and political uncertainty. The innovation, dedication and creativity showcased by this year’s BEFTAs finalists and winners sets an example to our future business leaders and upcoming entrepreneurs and we are proud to shine a spotlight on their operations. While each business is different, all the winners share a number of common denominators –  agility, resilience, innovation and a focus on open, honest customer service. I offer my congratulations to all the entrants and winners and look forward to seeing how their businesses develop over the coming years.”

Brenda Buckley, Commercial Director of Business Eye, added:

“Given the number of entries received for this year’s awards and the energy and atmosphere at the ceremony, it’s clear that the BEFTAs have truly cemented themselves as a must-do in Northern Ireland’s business community. We received very strong entries from a wide variety of companies based right across Northern Ireland. They are very much an integral part of the business calendar here, and we’ve every reason to believe that they will go from strength to strength.”

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Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Award Winners:


Agri Food Business of the Year – Sponsored by Lockton
Highly Commended – Keenan Seafood

Award Winner – Clandeboye Estate Yoghurts

Community Contribution Award – Sponsored by Community Foundation NI

Highly Commended – Anaconda International

Award Winner – Diversity NI

Customer Focus Award – Sponsored by Nimbus

Highly Commended – McCalls of Lisburn

Highly Commended – Safe Gas (NI)

Award Winner – Larchfield Estate

Exporter of the Year – Sponsored by Ulster University Business School

Highly Commended – i3 Digital

Award Winner – Yelo

Healthcare Business of the Year – Sponsored by Baker Tilly Mooney Moore

Highly Commended – Milesian Manor Lifestyle Care Home
Award Winner – Modius


Hospitality & Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by Tourism NI

Highly Commended – Rayanne House, Holywood

Award Winner – Belfast Tattoo


Independent Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Retail NI  

Highly Commended – 88 Retail

Award Winner – Uberfone

Family Business of the Year – Sponsored by Harbinson Mulholland

Highly Commended – Killowen Contracts

Highly Commended – Cunningham Butchers

Award Winner – McCalls of Lisburn

Innovative Business of the Year – Sponsored by FSB

Highly Commended – KES Group

Highly Commended – Resonate Testing

Award Winner – Proaxsis

Manufacturing Business of the Year – Sponsored by First Trust Bank

Award Winner – Anaconda International

Small Business Marketing Award – Sponsored by CMI

Highly Commended – Fleet Financial

Award Winner – Catalyst Inc

Start-up Business of the Year – Sponsored by Business Eye

Highly Commended – Noisy Nuts & Snacks

Award Winner – Irish Black Butter Co.

BEFTA Future Star Award – Presented by Brenda Buckley, Business Eye

Benn Cudworth, GamingAddicts

Technology Business of the Year – Sponsored by MCS Recruitment

Highly Commended – Nimbus

Highly Commended – Allsop

Award Winner – Fathom


Small Business of the Year – Sponsored by First Trust

Highly Commended – Hagan Homes

Highly Commended – The Momentum Group

Award Winner – Ozaroo

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