Cork Business of the Year Awards: 10 days left to enter!

Cork Business of the Year Awards launch during extraordinary times

New Covid resilience and innovation award



President of the Cork Business Association Eoin O’Sullivan commented on the unique environment facing Cork businesses and the importance of recognition and uplift during these difficult times as he launched the 64th annual CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards.


The CBA Awards, which are run in partnership with sponsor JCD and Centra, event partner Peninsula, and media partner The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across varied sectors of business in Cork City.

There are 12 individual categories to choose from, including a new award this year for resilience and innovation during Covid19, in addition to the overall Cork Business of the Year Award winners for a medium and large business.  Each year a Champion of Cork is also recognised.


The awards are free to enter and nominations are now open online at The deadline for submission is midnight January 15th 2021.

Eoin O’Sullivan, President of the Cork Business Association and a Director of M&P O’Sullivan, said

The 64th iteration of the Cork Business of Year Awards comes at an extraordinary time in the history of our city, and of the world.  The Covid pandemic is probably the greatest challenge our business community has had to endure.  But it is a challenge that we, as a collective community, can rise from.  The business community of Cork has shown true solidarity and resilience over the last number of months which instils confidence for the future of our city post Covid19


With that in mind, I am delighted to launch the 2020 Cork Business of the Year Awards, which will hopefully recognise and uplift business owners who go above and beyond to ensure that Cork city is the best place to work and live.  It has never been more important to highlight businesses who are leading the way and setting precedents for others to aspire to


This year, in recognition of the times that we are in, we have also launched a new COVID Resilience and Innovation Award, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, to showcase businesses who have pivoted and shown true resilience and adaptability


The 12 individual award categories for 2020 include:

  • Covid Resilience and Innovation, sponsored by Failte Ireland
    • Open to all businesses in Cork City who have pivoted their business or shown resilience and innovation since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic in March 2020.  Entrants will need to demonstrate what they have done to ensure business continuity or to set themselves apart.
  • Best New Business in Cork, sponsored by LEO 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 outline their plans for the future.
  • Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by AIB
    • 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, sponsored by M&P O Sullivan
    • 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 Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market
    • The best Restaurant award 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 Café, sponsored by The English Market
  • The best Café award 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 VFI Pub, 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, sponsored by Cork City Council
    • The best Cork Retail Business will be awarded to the business that 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 offering to attract more customers, keep retail workers in jobs and simultaneously keep Cork city centre vibrant which in turn will re-engage citizens and customers alike.
  • Best Tourism Art Event, sponsored by IHF Cork
    • 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 Professional Services Business, sponsored by ETC PR & Marketing
    • 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 Cork Digital Business,
  • 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.

  • Champion of Cork Award, sponsored by MTU
    • This award recognises a Corkonian whom the judges 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.

The President’s Dinner and Cork Business of the Year Awards is always a highlight for local businesses.  In light of expected restrictions on social gatherings, the event will be presented virtually on Saturday 20th February.  This year there will be a fabulous dine at home gourmet twist where guests can collect a ‘President’s Taste of the City Hamper’, which will be filled with the best of local produce from some of Cork’s top chefs.  Further details on the event will be updated on the CBA website.

Last year the Cork Business Association recognised some notable achievements, with Casey’s Furniture and Cork English College being named the overall winner in the large category and medium category respectively.  Moss and Will Finn from Finn’s Corner picked up the much-coveted Champions of Cork award to great applause.


Eoin O Sullivan continued,

We very much look forward to receiving this year’s submissions and would like to encourage all businesses located within the greater Cork city area to consider entering these prestigious awards

The benefits of being part of the awards process
are many, including association with the awards, public recognition for your hard work, plus marketing and networking opportunities. We would also like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, in particular our awards sponsors JCD and Centra, event partner Peninsula, and media partner The Irish Examiner


To enter the Cork Business of the Year Awards 2020, your business must be based in the greater Cork city area or be a current member of the Cork Business Association.


An experienced panel of leading business and civic leaders will provide independent judging and the shortlist will be announced for public vote on the last week of January. The judging panel includes the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney Head of Visit Cork, Centra, Alan Healy from the Irish Examiner, John Cleary from JCD, Tony Kerins from Peninsula, Paul McGuirk LEO Cork City and Eoin O Sullivan M&P O’Sullivan and President of the Cork Business Association.  Three businesses will be shortlisted in each category and the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winners.


For further information see