The Theme of the Carlow Business Awards 2020 2021 is “Resilience and Innovation”

The awards are designed to recognise the innovation, talent, quality and entrepreneurial spirit of businesses and the people within Carlow.

While many of the categories remain unchanged from previous years, there are some changes.  Full details of all the categories and criteria is listed below.  Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Carlow Business Awards Schedule

21st July – Launch of Carlow Business Awards 2020 & 21

21st July, 11.30 am – Nominations open

6th September, 12 noon – Close of Nominations

11th November, 7pm – Awards Ceremony, Don following page

For tickets telephone 059 913 2337 or email

Categories and Criteria for Carlow Business Awards 2020 & 2021

1. 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. Business Supporting Community Award
This award is designed to recognise and highlight the input of Businesses in supporting Community. The Judges will be looking for evidence of significant, contribution to their community through the pandemic and the impacts of these.

3. 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.

4. Best Innovative Dining Experience
Through the challenges of the last while, we have seen a lot of new and innovative ways to ensure people can experience dining in a unique and very different way. This award is designed to highlight some of those and recognise the creativity, quality and experience that was delivered.

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

6. Spirit of Carlow Award
This Award gives recognition to those whose good deeds may have gone unnoticed. This is a non-business category. Judges are looking for those individuals and/or organisations who selflessly serve others and are an inspiration to us all.

7. Customer Service Award
This award recognises the importance of excellence in customer service among companies committed to offering the highest values of customer care. Nominees will need to demonstrate how they consistently go the extra mile for their customers and the impact this has had on their business. They will need to highlight what actions they have taken to enhance and strengthen their customer service across all levels and what plans they have for the future. Criteria for assessing this award will include customer service, product knowledge, meeting customer expectations and case study.

8. Professional Services Award
The award recognises excellence in customer service, product knowledge and commitment to developing sustainable business practices across the full range of activities. Nominees will come from professions such as estate agents, architects, insurance companies, travel agents, solicitors, dental and medical providers, accountants, banks and financial advisers.

9. 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.

10. Research Innovation and Technology Award
The judges will assess nominees for evidence of how through research and development companies have developed or utilised innovativative technologies (hardware or software) representing progressive developments for competitive advantage.

11. Sustainability Award
This award is designed to recognise products, processes, or policies that support a greener, more sustainable environment. Nominees can be from both business and community and must be able to demonstrate actions and results to date along with future plans.

12. Ambassador of the Year  (This Category is not open to Public Nomination)
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.

13. Best Online Presence
With the increased move to online across a wide range of sectors, the judges are looking for a bespoke online presence that delivers in a range of ways. Website Purpose, Simplicity, Useability, Functional, Optimisation, impact on the business and connection with brand and communication channels.

14. Lifetime Achievement Award  (This Category is not open to Public Nomination)
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 during 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.

15. Outstanding Small Business of the Year
The Outstanding Small Business Award recognizes those businesses employing fewer than 20 people on a full-time basis, who have made a long-standing contribution to the community. Nominees will be able to demonstrate success in company growth and they will also illustrate their commitment to research and the development of advances in the company’s industry sector. Consideration is also paid to their vision for sustainable growth, innovative and their impact on the wider community.

16. 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 sustainable growth, innovation, creativity and has a continuing positive impact on the community.