High-flying companies are being invited to take part in the 5thAer Lingus Viscount Awards, which seek to honour Northern Ireland’s best business operations across a wide spectrum of specialist areas.
From the inception of the Viscount Awards five years ago the emphasis of the competition has been on recognising those businesses who are generating enduring and lucrative economic ties between Northern Ireland and Britain.
The structure of the competition for 2013 includes seven separate categories. Nominations have been invited under the following headings: Company of the Year (small, medium and large business categories), Entrepreneur of the Year, Most Innovative Company, Best Exporter of the Year, and the Aer Lingus Viscount Award for Overall Excellence.
Valerie Abbott, Commercial Manager for Aer Lingus in Northern Ireland, said that the continued expansion of the Viscount Awards underlined the commitment of the airline to enhancing its ties with all sections of the local business community. The opening of the new Aer Lingus direct service from George Best Belfast City Airport to London Gatwick was further confirmation of the airline’s commitment to helping build the local economy.
“The Gatwick route will compliment the already well established Aer Lingus direct service to Heathrow, providing an additional link into the heart of the UK’s economic powerhouse,” she said. “The importance to local business of the continued development of the strongest possible airline travel ties cannot be over emphasised.
“Our expanded London service now allows even greater access for the business network across Northern Ireland to the South East region of England and further afield.
“We in Aer Lingus are acutely aware of the positive benefits attached to networking accessibility. That is why we regard the Viscount Awards as the perfect incentive platform for local companies to showcase their expertise and skills.
“Every organisation that enters the competition will come under the scrutiny of a seven strong group of judges, all of whom are experts in their own sphere of business life, including myself; Symon Ross, Editor, Ulster Business; Tracey Meharg, Invest NI’s Executive Director, Business Solutions; Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce; Gary McDonald, Business Editor, Irish News; Alan Taylor, Managing Partner, Arthur Cox, Adrienne McGill, Business Editor, News Letter and Roseann Kelly, CEO Women In Business.”
Valerie stressed that, regardless of the individual categories, one key theme the judges would be looking for would be an innovative approach to the development of business opportunities.
“We particularly want to receive entries from those firms and organisations that have been able to access new markets on the back of an innovative approach. Obviously if that principle of innovation has been successful in generating new or additional export markets then even better.
“Aer Lingus as a company has never been afraid to take on competitive challenges. We recognise the benefits of an export-propelled economy. The importance of encouraging that approach in all areas of Northern Ireland business is one that we will support in every way possible.”
The Awards Lunch will take place on the 23rd April 2013 in the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London, which itself has a long and illustrious transportation history.
Entries to the awards can be completed online through a simple form that can be found at: viscountawards.ulsterbusiness.com