THE resilience of the region’s business community and its employees was recognised on Friday as the largest business representative body in the region, Limerick Chamber, announced its Regional Business Awards for 2021, sponsored by TUS Midlands Midwest.
Back after an absence of one year due to Covid, this year’s event, held at the Limerick Strand Hotel, was restricted in the interest of public health from the annual 400 plus attendee event to just 37 people, drawn from Chamber executive, board representatives, sponsors and winners.
Despite the trimmed-back version of the annual showpiece, and the absence of black tie and evening wear, the awards were of even greater significance than ever as they saluted the top businesses of the region for their resilience, innovation and courage in the face of the pandemic.
The top award, for Best Overall Business of the Year, went to Croom Precision Medical, a precision engineering business based in Croom, Co Limerick that specialises in designing and manufacturing precision components for the medical device industry.
The company was set up in 1984 by Paddy Byrnes and focuses on the machining and handling of precious metals for use in a sterile environment. Employing 40 people, it is now led by Patrick Byrnes (son of Paddy). The company has longstanding relationships with a number of international players including several household names based in the strong MedTech sector in the South and West of Ireland.
A new addition to the awards – in recognition of the challenge businesses faced and overcame over the past year – was ‘Best Pandemic Pivot Business Award’, which went to Fitzgerald’s Woodlands Hotel in Adare for an investment that saw it rally through Covid. The investment included a new Treehouse outdoor dining area, cabins and a new vegetable garden.
In all, including the overall prize, there were nine awards which went to:
• Best Pandemic Pivot Award: Fitzgerald’s Woodlands Hotel.
• Best Emerging Business Award: Crew Brewing Co.
• Best Large Business Award: Kirby Group Engineering.
• Best SME Business Award: Croom Precision Medical.
• Best CSR Organisation Award: AMCS.
• Best Not for Profit Award: Learning Hub Limerick.
• Best Retail and Hospitality Business Award: Limerick Strand Hotel.
• Best Employer-Employee Talent Development & Workplace Wellness Award: Kirby Group.
• Best Overall Business of the Year Award: Croom Precision Medical
This is the 10th year of the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards and the tenth successive year it has been sponsored by Technological University of the Shannon; Midlands Midwest (TUS).
Mr Vincent Cunnane, President of TUS – an amalgamation of long-term sponsor Limerick Institute of Technology and Athlone institute of Technology – said: “The Technological University of the Shannon; Midlands Midwest (TUS) represents our new beginning and we are delighted to be the main sponsor of the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards and the Best Overall Business of the Year Award again this year under our new identity. The Limerick Chamber Regional Awards acknowledge businesses that have not just survived but have adapted and thrived during the challenging times of the last two years. We have seen inspirational levels of resilience and ingenuity from organisations across the region. These awards recognise and reward business excellence, innovation, best practices and outstanding business performance.”
Limerick Chamber President Donnacha Hurley said: “This is the 10th hosting of these awards and I’m not sure there was ever a more important time to reward businesses across the region for their contribution to the region, to their staff and their customers than this year. It’s been such a challenging 20 months or so, but we’ve seen our businesses rise to that challenge, often in very trying circumstances but always with a desire and commitment to stay going. That’s why I think these awards really stand out. We don’t have the glitz of our normal pre-Christmas awards night and President’s dinner but that takes nothing at all away from the winners, the finalists and all the other businesses across the region they represent.”
Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said: “While we continue to deal with the impact of the pandemic, today is a celebratory day for business in this region. Companies across Limerick and the wider region have shown remarkable resilience and I think, more than anything, they would say that this is down to their staff, in particular. They have gone more than the extra mile for their employers and their customers and that spirit of partnership is what has got companies through and it is what we salute today.”