The Cork Business Association invites you to enter the Cork Business of the Year Awards 2019, which will be presented at a Gala awards evening at the Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel on Saturday 22nd February 2020.
We appreciate how important these awards are in recognising and rewarding the fabulous businesses and individuals who are working diligently across many sectors and who all contribute to our wonderful city. These awards will celebrate the finest businesses in Cork for their commitment to best practice, excellence and high standards.
This year we are very excited to announce the introduction of a brand new category to the Cork Business of the Year Awards, "Best in Digital Award 2019".

13 award categories have been carefully selected this year. Remember, these awards are FREE to enter and the benefits to your business can be immense – so please enter! Winners and shortlisted finalists will benefit from:

  • Publicity from the marketing and communications campaign associated with the awards.
  • Kudos associated with being a Cork Business of the Year shortlisted finalist or winner.
  • Recognition of your hard work and commitment to your business and Cork.
  • Excellent networking opportunities at our fabulous black tie Gala Awards night on Saturday 22nd February in the Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel.
  • Full coverage of the awards in the CBA Newsletter Cork Connected Quarter (1) 2020.


To enter the Cork Business Awards 2019 you MUST be a business based in the greater Cork City area.

ALL award categories must be entered via our 3-step online process. We have made this as simple as possible and all entrants will complete the same steps for every category.

Step 1: Select the category you want to enter, read the terms and conditions, answer three questions. There are a maximum of 50 points per question. You are encouraged to answer the questions thoroughly, one A4 page is the guideline - Please do not exceed this if possible. Do bear in mind that the judges may not be familiar with your particular business so provide as much relevant information as possible.

Step 2: It is important to note that if you do not complete a section or leave it unanswered, no score can be allocated.

Step 3: Then complete your information (Name, business, address, email) and select the SUBMIT button to send your entry! NB. Please note, it will not be possible to enter further information for a category once the SUBMIT option has been selected for that category.

You must follow this process for each category you want to enter.


Judging for all award categories is completely independent from the organisation of the awards. An independent panel of judges will review all online submissions and score the entries under specific headings.

Please note that the judge’s decision is final and is bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and no correspondence will be entered into. In any instance where it is deemed that there may be a conflict of interest, the chair of the judging panel will declare an ‘exclusion’ for any specific judge.

Once scores are collated, the judges will produce a shortlist of three entrants for each category, who will be notified via email early in the new year.

The three short-listed entrants will be further judged and the final outcomes of this stage of judging will determine the category winners. The winners will only be informed via formal announcement at the Gala Awards night on Saturday 22nd February 2019 in Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel.

Announcement of Award Winners

The winners will be announced at a black tie Gala Awards night on Saturday 22nd February in Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel.

Book your tickets for the Gala Awards night: Tel: 021 427 8295 or BOOK TICKETS ONLINE.

Tickets are priced at €120. This includes a drinks reception, 3 course meal, wine, awards presentations, and entertainment.


Key Dates
Open for Entries Thursday 31st October 2019
Closing Date Monday 27st January 2020
Judging Commences January 27st onwards
Shortlist announced Start of February
President's Dinner & Awards Night Saturday 22nd February 2020


You are welcome to enter more than one category…

Best New Business in Cork 2019

Sponsored by Local Enterprise Office Cork City

Open to all businesses that have been founded or are new to Cork since 1st January 2016. Entrants will be asked to explain their business and to demonstrate how they have translated a great idea into a viable and successful business venture. They will also be asked to explain their plans for the future.

Best Cork Family Business 2019

Sponsored by Musgrave

Open to all family owned and run businesses in the greater Cork city area. Your business must be managed by family members and you must be able to demonstrate the involvement of at least two generations of family members who are working in the business.

Best Cork Hotel 2019

Sponsored by Kings Laundry

The Best Hotel award acknowledges excellence in service and accommodation. Entrants will demonstrate high class, flawless service in a comfortable, quality establishment, while both meeting and exceeding guest expectations, and how they have helped to promote Cork as a destination nationally and internationally.

Best Cork Café 2019

Sponsored by The English Market

The Best Cork Café will recognise excellence in customer service, business innovation, premises ambiance and atmosphere. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how they have raised the profile of their business in this ever increasingly competitive sector.

Best Cork Restaurant 2019

Sponsored by The English Market

The Best Cork Restaurant acknowledges excellence in quality, service, price and ambiance. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, customer service, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how well the establishment functions as a business.

Best Cork VFI Pub 2019

Sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork

The award for Best Cork Pub will be awarded to the Pub that, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates ‘best in class’ in the areas of innovation, creativity, ambiance, operational excellence and customer service. Open to VFI Members only.

Best Cork Retail Business 2019

Sponsored by Cork City Council

The best Cork Retail Business will be awarded to the business who routinely strives for the highest standards across a number of key metrics such as customer service, value, visual merchandising, premises maintenance, marketing, and adaptability. High standards are particularly important given the very severe challenges currently facing Ireland’s retail industry. It is critical that the retail industry plays its part in consistently improving its offer to attract more customers and keep retail workers in jobs and Cork city centre vibrant which in turn will re-engage with citizens and customers alike.

Best Professional Services Business 2019


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Sponsored by Peninsula

This category is open to all businesses that provide a professional business service in the greater Cork city area. They include banking, legal, accounting, HR, recruitment, PR, marketing, architects, financial advisers, engineers, consultants, training providers, strategic advice etc. They can be any organisation or profession that offers customised, knowledge-based services to clients.

Entrants must be able to explain what their professional business service is and demonstrate their commitment to customer service excellence within their particular service provided.

Best Tourism, Arts, Event 2019

Sponsored by IHF Cork Branch

This award is designed to recognise and reward an organisation, attraction, business or event that has excelled in tourism, contributing to growing tourist numbers and/or the visitor experience in Cork.

Best in Digital Award 2019

Sponsor TBC

This award will be presented to a company or organisation that can practically demonstrate how they have embraced the digital age and built their company around, or adapted their business strategy to adopt, a more future focused, digitally powered approach.
This category is open to all businesses, regardless of their stage in the business life-cycle.
Please provide us with real-life examples of: How you have changed your business strategy to adopt a more digitally focused approach, or Utilised digital platforms to drive business, or Implemented an innovative, digitally driven idea, or Introduced an e-commerce element to your trading, or Any other initiative you have undertaken to increase business/awareness or your company or organisation.

Cork Business of the Year Medium Category Overall Winner 2019

Sponsored by JCD, The Irish Examiner

This award honours and acknowledges a business who has contributed or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural, or civic life in Cork city. This award is open to all medium sized businesses irrespective of Category.

Cork Business of the Year Large Category Overall Winner 2019

Sponsored by JCD, The Irish Examiner

This award honours and acknowledges a business who has contributed or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural, or civic life in Cork city. This award is open to all large businesses irrespective of Category.

Champion of Cork Award 2019

Sponsored by Cork Institute of Technology

The Champion of Cork award was created last year to praise, honour and recognize a Corkonian whom we believe has made a real difference to Cork and its people, be it through driving business, their contribution to the arts, their charitable work, their efforts in developing our city or their passion and drive for promoting all things Cork.