Enterprising spirit wins at 2016 Mid Ulster Business Awards

Mid Ulster Business Awards, Glenavon House Hotel.  Guests from AES Global, Cookstown. INMU48-218. Photo by Tony Hendron.

Mid Ulster Business Awards, Glenavon House Hotel. Guests from AES Global, Cookstown. INMU48-218. Photo by Tony Hendron.

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The hard work, dedication and professionalism of our local firms were recognised at the Mid Ulster Business Awards on Friday night.

The showcase event, which was organised by the Mid Ulster Mail and Tyrone Times in association with Mid Ulster District Council, attracted hundreds of guests to the Glenavon House Hotel.

There, the great and good of Mid Ulster business were rewarded for their efforts over the last year.

Mid Ulster is considered by many to the be the most entrepreneurial area in the north with more start-up businesses than any other council area outside of Belfast. And this was clear to see in the number and variety of companies that entered this year’s awards.

Winners on the night ranged from local butchers, to engineering firms, hotels and restaurants.

But the award of the night went to Kildress businessman Des Keenan for a lifetime of achievement. After leaving school at 14, he drove a dumper truck at a local cement works before his first foray into business - buying and selling second hand cookers in the evenings and weekends.

In 1978 Des gave up his job and went full time in the fledgling business. His firm diversified into plumbing materials, bathrooms, stoves, and supplying building materials and kitchens.

He was joined by winners Bellaghy Village WorldHost Award for Community Impact, The Elk for Excellence in Tourism, Mel’s Traditional Fish N Chips as Favourite Takeaway, PKF-FPM Accountants for Excellence in People Development, Oldtown Bistro - Favourite Restaurant, Bridge Van for Best Environmental Impact, EDGE Innovate for Best Digital Initiative & Use of Social Media, Killymoon Bouncy Castles Best Customer Service, Edge for Best Export Business, SME Business of the Year Manor Architects, Best Manufacturer AES Global Ltd, Best Retailer McAtamney’s Butchers and Business Person of the Year, Eamonn McAlister EMA Contracts.

For more pictures and full reports see next week’s Tyrone Times.