Belfast City Council will honour the achievements of the hospitality sector in the city when it hosts the Belfast Business Awards this year.

The prestigious event will take place in the City Hall on Thursday 8 November with 11 awards presented in recognition of the fine work of business enterprises, retail outlets and businessmen and women across the city. Hosted by BBC’s Sarah Travers, the awards – in their 7th year – are organised by Belfast City Council in partnership with Belfast City Centre Management.
Among the coveted awards` categories is that of Best Hospitality Business. This is open to all hospitality businesses in Belfast including cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and hotels which can demonstrate excellent customer service, ambience and atmosphere as well as a high calibre of products or services.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is sponsoring the Best Hospitality Business Award this year.
Chief Executive Alan Clarke said the NITB was delighted to support the category in acknowledgement of “the valued and continued contribution of the hospitality industry to tourism and to the local economy”
“With so many fantastic events, commemorations and celebrations taking place this year, 2012 presents an unprecedented time of opportunity to showcase the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer to a global audience. The provision of excellent hospitality and customer service is a vital component towards ensuring that visitors have a high quality experience,” Mr Clarke said.

The entry includes an online application which can be accessed at the official awards website www.belfastbusinessawards.com <http://www.belfastbusinessawards.com> and a public vote for short-listed businesses in the category. The closing date for entries to the Belfast Business Awards is Friday 14 September.

The awards categories this year are `Best International Trade`, `Best New Business`, `Best Green Business`, `Best Hospitality Business`, ‘Best Creative Business` and ‘Best Social Economy Business`.
There will also be awards for `Best Young Business Person of the Year`,  `Best Business Innovation`,  `Best Business Expansion`; `Customer Excellence in Retail` and the `Best Business Person of the Year`.
Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council`s Development Committee, said: “The Belfast Business Awards 2012 will give local businesses a chance to shine by showcasing the excellent contribution they make towards the development of our city.

“Winning an award will be a mark of quality that brings real prestige to any business. I would encourage companies and businessmen and women from across the city to sign up for the awards which are free to enter!”
The council would like to thank our sponsors this year – Victoria Square (Best Young Business Person of the Year); University of Ulster (Best Business Innovation); Profile (Best Business Expansion); DETI (Best Social Economy Business); Northern Ireland Tourist Board (Best Hospitality Business); Firmus Energy (Best New Business); Power NI (Best Green Business); Invest NI (Best Creative Business); Castle Court (Customer Excellence – Retail); DELL (Business Person of the Year) and Barclays Bank (Best International Trade).

Belfast City Council will also celebrate the local hospitality sector when its hosts Belfast Restaurant Week from 6-13 October. The initiative is an opportunity for the city’s eateries to showcase their food and business, profile their chefs, maximise bookings throughout the week and attract new customers. For further information on Belfast Restaurant Week, you can visit the council website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastrestaurantweek/index.asp <http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastrestaurantweek/index.asp>