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·        Three Galway companies shortlisted for “SFA National Small Business Awards 2017”
·        An Taoiseach says small firms have been central to Ireland’s recovery and play an important role in economy

The finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 have been officially announced by Patricia Callan, SFA Director. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of small business in Ireland, and to recognise the vital contribution of the small business sector to Irish industry.

35 companies have been selected as finalists, from 13 different counties, across 8 categories.

Galway based, JPK Fencing Systems, specialise in the manufacture of high quality security and safety fencing is nominated in the Manufacturing category sponsored by Energia and in the Sustainable Energy category sponsored by SEAI. Also nominated in the Sustainable Energy category is Killary Adventure Company, who have been offering outdoor adventure experiences in the west of Ireland for over 35 years. The Foods of Athenry, a multi-award winning bakery manufacturing a ‘from scratch’ premium, all natural, additive free range of gluten free products are a finalist in the Food and Drink category sponsored by Bord Bia.

“The response to the awards programme serves as a reminder that Irish small companies are resilient, putting their best foot forward and seeking recognition for their efforts” commented Patricia Callan, SFA Director. “As well as our seven award categories we also feature five of the best Emerging New Businesses (less than two years established) and I must say that given the quality of the businesses represented this year, entrepreneurship is alive and well in Ireland”, stated Callan.


“The SFA National Small Business Awards are now entering their thirteenth year and are a celebration of the achievements of the 238,000 small firms in Ireland, who collectively employ over 850,000 people, half the private sector workforce, and aim to promote excellence, achievement and innovation amongst small businesses in all sectors and parts of the country. The companies that have been announced as finalists this year represent all that is good about small business” said Callan.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, who is Patron of the Awards, stated that: “Small Firms have been central to Ireland’s recovery. I am delighted to support the SFA Awards again this year. Across Ireland there are thousands of people who go to work every day in small firms and they play an important role in our economy. It is fantastic to have these Awards to highlight the success of many Irish businesses and their constant drive to improve and seek new markets. The government will continue to support small firms and have made them a key part of our Regional Action Plan to spread the recovery to every region of Ireland.”



The Awards prize package for ALL finalists includes an exhibition stand at the SFA National Small Business Showcase in the RDS in February 2017, a strategic management masterclass weekend, as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage, valued at €50,000. Finalists also receive five complementary tickets to the gala prize giving ceremony which will take place in the RDS in March 2017 when the category winners and overall winner will be announced.  

The category winners will be presented with a trophy and free membership of the Small Firms Association. The overall winner will also receive a bursary of €5,000 to present to a charity of their choice (funded by the 2013 Overall Winner, Megazyme International Ireland) and a responsible business practices check-up and action plan from Business in the Community Ireland.

Ends.

EDITOR’S NOTES:

The full list of finalist companies are:

MANUFACTURING CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Energia:

·        Briody Bedding – Meath
·        JPK Fencing Systems – Galway
·        Kelly’s of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
·        Keogh’s Crisps – Dublin
·        Simpli Baked – Offaly
·        Ventac – Kildare

FOOD & DRINK CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Bia:

·        Goodness Grains Gluten Free Bakery – Longford        
·        Kelly’s of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
·        Keogh’s Crisps – Dublin        
·        Simpli Baked – Offaly        
·        The Foods of Athenry         – Galway
·        Wexford Home Preserves – Wexford

SERVICES CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Three:

·        Adams & Butler – Dublin
·        Catering Disposables– Dublin
·        Dualtron – Dublin
·        KPC International – Cork        
·        The Gaiety School of Acting – Dublin
·        Vibes and Scribes – Cork        

OUTSTANDING SMALL BUSINESS FINALISTS (up to five employees), sponsored by AIB:

·        Big Red Barn – Mayo        
·        Bike Park Ireland – Tipperary
·        Coyle Group – Dublin
·        EireChrom – Tipperary and Cork
·        Sweetspot Sourcing – Kildare        
·        TheTaste.ie – Dublin


INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Enterprise Ireland:

·        Aalto Bio Reagents – Dublin
·        Bizimply – Dublin
·        Emydex Technology – Dublin
·        Herdwatch – Tipperary
·        Sea Change – Kildare
·        Ventac- Wicklow        

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland:

·        JPK Fencing Systems – Galway        
·        Kelly’s of Newport Artisan Butchers – Mayo
·        Killary Adventure Company – Galway
·        Oriel Marine Extracts        – Louth
·        Ryans Cleaning -Tipperary        

SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by DHL Express:

·        Adams & Butler – Dublin
·        Aalto Bio Reagents – Dublin
·        Emydex Technology – Dublin
·        KPC International – Cork        
·        Prodigy Learning – Dublin
·        Ventac – Wicklow        

In addition, 5 of the best recently established companies have been selected to be profiled:

EMERGING NEW BUSINESSES (up to 50 employees and under 2 years in business), sponsored by IE Domain Registry:

·        Ann Marie’s Dressing Room – Cork        
·        CLIRINX – Dublin
·        CyberSmarties – Limerick        
·        Epic Ireland – Dublin
·        SalesOptimize – Dublin

·        Interviews with the finalist companies and Emerging New Businesses can be arranged through the Small Firms Association office – contact Louise Kenrick, Awards Executive on 01 605 1664 or e-mail: louise.kenrick@sfa.ie
·        Full details are on the SFA Awards website at www.sfa.ie/awards or follow us on Twitter: @SFA_Irl  #SFAAwards2017

For interviews contact:  Patricia Callan, SFA Director, on 01-6051602 or 087-6999345 or e-mail:patricia.callan@sfa.ie

____________________
Louise Kenrick
SFA Executive
84/86 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2
D02 H720
T: +353 1 605 1664
E: louise.kenrick@sfa.ie
W:
http://www.sfa.ie, http://www.sfa.ie/awards


Find me on LinkedIn or follow the SFA on Twitter @sfa_irl