The finalists in the SFA National Business Awards 2024 have been officially announced by Sue O’Neill, chair of the SFA Awards judging panel.
Among the finalists are two Mayo businesses – OSENG (Claremorris) in the services category and JJ Burke Car Sales in the retail category.
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.
Speaking at the launch of the awards, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated: “For 20 years the SFA National Small Business Awards have celebrated the talent and success of Ireland’s vibrant small business community. The awards celebrate innovation, resilience, strength and the creativity of our country’s entrepreneurs.
“Small firms are central to Ireland’s economic success and to our drive for balanced regional development, creating jobs in all regions of the country. The government will continue to prioritise the growth and competitiveness of the small business sector.”
“The response to the awards programme is a reminder that Irish small companies are resilient, putting their best foot forward and seeking recognition for their efforts” commented Sue O’Neill. “As well as our nine award categories, we also feature five of the best emerging new businesses (less than two years established) and, given the quality of the businesses represented this year, entrepreneurship is alive and well in Ireland.”
She added: “The Small Firms Association are marking the 20th anniversary of this programme, which continues to celebrate the success of small business owners. The 273,000 small firms in Ireland employ nearly half the private sector workforce and these awards aim to portray excellence, achievement and innovation amongst these companies in all sectors and parts of the country.”
Fifty companies have been selected as finalists from 16 different counties across 10 categories. The full list can be discovered on the SFA website.
The awards prize package for all finalists includes participation in a strategic management masterclass weekend on January 12 and 13 next, as well as the SFA Business Connect event at Killashee Hotel on February 8. All businesses benefit from broad-ranging national and local media coverage valued at €50,000. Finalists also receive three complimentary tickets to the gala prize-winning ceremony to take place in the RDS on March 7, when category prize winners and the overall winner will be announced. The category winners will be presented with a trophy and free membership of the Small Firms Association for one year.