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Carlow Business Awards 2017 Schedule

26th July – Launch of Carlow Business Awards 2016 at Burnside Autocyl (Tullow) Ltd

28th July, 12 noon – Nominations open

30th August, 12 noon – Close of Nominations

28th September, 7pm –  Awards Ceremony, Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow

For tickets telephone 059 913 2337 or email


Why enter the Carlow Business Awards 2017

  • Entering the awards gives your business:
  • Increased business opportunities
  • The chance to build your business profile
  • Opportunities to network
  • Opportunity to gain valuable feedback from our expert panel of judges during the interview process, if your company is shortlisted
  • The chance to win a prestigious award
  • Publicity / media promotion opportunities
  • A morale boost for your company, your team and indeed your customers
  • A badge of success representing excellence among your industry peers.

The awards are more than what we have listed above, they are a celebration of the great businesses and people in County Carlow and its environs.  Join with us on 28th September to help celebrate.



Award Categories and Criteria

1. Carlow Community Award

This award is designed to recognise and celebrate the success of Community and Voluntary enterprises in County Carlow. Nominees will be organisations who have made a significant, sustained contribution to their community. Often working behind the scenes, these organisations provide their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens.


2. Carlow Food and Beverage Producers Award

This award recognises the importance of the Irish food business and the top performing businesses within this dynamic and innovative sector.

Judges will be looking for superior quality and excellence from local food and beverage producers/manufacturers.

Nominees will demonstrate excellence and innovation in production and management processes, compliance with food hygiene regulations and HACCP principles.


3.  Carlow Best Start Up / Emerging Business Award

Open to all new and emerging non-retail businesses in Carlow who have been established within the previous 2 years.  The winner will have displayed a strategic approach to business, successful implementation and will have good prospects for the future.


4.  Carlow Best Restaurant

We are looking for a restaurant that ticks all the boxes “exemplary customer service, wonderful atmosphere and of course, outstanding food”. An establishment that you would recommend to anyone who wants to impress their guests, and that you would return to time and time.


5.  Carlow Best Casual Dining

This award represents the establishment that strives to provide the best coffee and/or dining experience, using locally sourced ingredients and delivering outstanding customer service. Knowledgeable staff, great quality food and a warm and inviting atmosphere. Nominate your go-to place for a casual lunch with friends, or a quick bite on the go.


6.  Carlow Best Licenced Premises

Open to local pubs and hotels within the County. Judges are looking for premises that offer a comfortable environment suitable to their target market clientele.

Nominees will be assessed on customer service, ambience, cleanliness. hygiene and exterior & interior decor.


7.  Carlow Customer Service – Professional Services:

This award recognises the importance of excellence in customer service among companies providing professional services that are committed to offering the highest values of customer care.

Nominees will come from professions such as estate agents, architects, solicitors, quantity surveyors, dental and medical providers, financial advisors, travel agents, banks and building societies.

Criteria for assessing this award will be customer service, product knowledge, meeting customer expectations.


8.  Carlow Retailer of the Year

This business will have shown a commitment to offering the highest levels of service to each and every customer.  Evaluation will consider customer service and attention, shop cleanliness, layout and accessibility, in-store promotional materials and presentation of shop front.


9.  Carlow’s Best New Retailer of the Year:

This award category is open to new retail outlets operating who opened since January 2016 providing goods and services to the general public. To succeed in this category, you must demonstrate how your business sustains itself in a highly competitive market. The evaluation will take account of but is not limited to – customer service and attention, shop cleanliness, layout and accessibility, in-store promotional materials, presentation of shop front and application of innovative ideas or strategies.


10.  Carlow’s Best Presented Shopfront/Premises:

This award aims to create an awareness of the positive impression a well-presented shop front can create within the local community and to visitors alike especially when it is clean, tidy and well maintained.  The Award will be judged in line with the following criteria; well-presented window display, design consideration of signage and associated frontage (signs should be simple and easy to understand, look attractive and made out of durable, high quality materials), entrance – inviting, clean & attractive, overall Maintenance of the Shop Front including Sustainability, appropriateness of the shop front to the building or type of business.  Photographs should be submitted with nomination.

This will be awarded in three areas as follows: Carlow Town, Muine Bheag/South Carlow, Tullow/North Carlow


11.  Carlow’s Best Place to work Award:

This award is open to all businesses regardless of size, industry, sector or turnover. Employees at Carlow’s Best Place to work will find their leaders credible, respectful and fair.  They also take pride in the work they do and they share a sense of camaraderie with their fellow workers.  The evaluation of Carlow’s Best Place to Work will look at programmes, policies and practices that have been put in place by the business leaders for the team along with surveying of a sample of employees at the business.

The winning company in this category will be able to demonstrate how they are achieving the organisational goals through people doing their personal best and working together as a team.


12.  Carlow Digital Award – Best Technology

The judges will assess entrants for evidence of utilizing or creating innovative technology (hardware or software) that broaches new territory in some significant way and that represents progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage. Examples of currently emerging technologies include educational technology, information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, robotics, and artificial intelligence.


13.  Carlow Exporter of the Year Award:

This award is open to all businesses that export product or services. Judges will be looking at exporters who can demonstrate success in securing and building new export markets and who have developed a strategic export plan.


14.  Carlow Marketing Award

This award aims to recognise a firm which has deployed an marketing campaign to its marketing strategies and build the brand, conveying key messages and perspectives about a product or a business. The judges will be interested in how the campaign was created & executed to achieve specific marketing objectives, and they will be interested in the creative approach, media platform/s, and the business results achieved.


15.  Carlow’s Hidden Gem:

Not every business within Carlow operates on the High Street, and some are so great and well-hidden that we would prefer to keep them to ourselves.  This category is open to all those businesses, regardless of industry, location, size.  In accessing the business, the judging panel will access the operation, strategy and impact of the business.


16.  Carlow’s Best Tourism Experience (Attractions & Activities):

This award category is open to businesses operating within the attractions/activities sectors of tourism. Companies entering this category must be able to demonstrate the effective promotion of their own business and Carlow to attract visitors to the area. Businesses eligible for this category may include but are not limited to tourism attractions (public and private providers), tourism event providers, adventure providers and other tourism activities within the county.


17.  Carlow’s Business to Business Award:

Open to all businesses who provide product or services to businesses locally. Eligible nominees will come from sectors such as cleaning providers, security service providers, office equipment and service providers, it service providers and trade service providers.

The nominees will have demonstrated a high level of innovative service delivery and commitment to businesses they supply.


18.  Carlow Venue of the Year Award:

This award is open to all businesses/organisations that provide truly memorable and quality experiences in their venues.

Eligible entrants will have shown excellence in catering from a diverse range of events, for example, family destinations, business conferences, weddings, music events, sports events and entertainment venues.


19.  Carlow’s Employee of the Year:

Carlow Businesses are often recognised for their friendly and helpful staff who go above and beyond in carrying out their duties whether in a customer facing or support roles.  This award will recognise that individual, with assessment being based on various criteria including interview with the employee, report from manager/supervisor.  Candidates must be nominated by their manager or a colleague.


20.  Carlow Ambassador of the Year:

The winner will be the individual/business who has come to be clearly identified on a national scale as part of Brand Carlow. This award is open to all who have put the Carlow name out there in national media during the year.


21.  Carlow Lifetime Achievement Award:

This Award will be presented to a pillar of the Carlow business community, a person who has led and inspired others, a person who has spent a lifetime in business – in good times and bad. The Lifetime Achievement recipient will have had a key impact in his/her sector, will have been the key driving force in that business and will have shown outstanding leadership qualities, developed and achieved clear business goals in the course of their business life.

Their work will have made a significant difference in their community and sector; their commitment will have been more than simply doing a job. They will have gone above and beyond what was expected of them.


22.  Spirit of Carlow Award:

This Award gives recognition to those whose good deeds may have gone unnoticed.  This is a non-business category hosted in association with The Nationalist. Judges are looking for those individuals and/or organisations who selflessly serve others and are an inspiration to us all.


23.  Carlow Business of the Year:

The Outstanding Business Award recognizes businesses for noteworthy accomplishments, long-standing contribution to the community, and significant community service efforts.  The nominees will have made a major or visible contribution in the past year that reflects commercial growth and achievement, innovation, creativity or community involvement.

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Nominate Online by clicking on the above button, alternatively download the Criteria 2017 and Carlow Business Awards 2017 Nomination Form to complete and send back to



Tickets for the Carlow Business Awards are €40.00 and may be purchased from Carlow Chamber by calling 059 913 2337, emailing



Sponsorship / Questions / Press

Sponsorship opportunities may still exist, please contact Brian O’Farrell, to discuss options on

Nominations must be submitted in advance of the deadline date of 30th August at 12 noon.

In certain categories, additional information may be required from the nominee and / or nominator; please ensure compete and correct contact details are provided

Press media queries, should be directed to Brian O’Farrell on


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