Carlow County Council – Local Enterprise Office hosted the first ever County Carlow Web Awards in association with Content Plan, the Business Post and Institute of Technology, Carlow on Monday March 7, 2022 in Ballykealey House Hotel as part of Local Enterprise Week 2022.
Over 70 entrepreneurs were present with Master of Ceremonies Colm O'Regan at the helm.
Following receipt of over 50 entries the entrants were shortlisted to just 25 companies as finalists.
7 awards were presented with a shared prize fund of over €10,000 as well as specially commissioned awards trophies. The Awards aimed to acknowledge and promote SMEs based in County Carlow who have developed their digital and web marketing platforms as part of their product offering.
The Awards were open to recipients of Trading Online Vouchers and SMEs with less than 10 full time employees based in County Carlow.
Speaking at the awards, Cllr. Fintan Phelan, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council said:
“As Cathaoirleach of the Council I engage online everyday and I am only too aware of how the web can be a powerful tool for communication of a message but for me the key word from using the web is “engagement”.
“We have all seen the positives and the negatives of the internet and as companies we know that your focus is engagement to develop reaction. By developing your web technologies and sites you have a deep desire to engage, to listen, to learn and to transact.
“We all know that we are stronger when we listen, and we are smarter when we share. Sharing your business story online communicates that you are an SME who isn’t afraid to pitch your USP to the world and is a testament to your innovative and creative spirit”.
The Cathaoirleach continued to say “I’d like to congratulate each and every business who entered these awards and I’d encourage any business looking at developing their online presence to contact the local enterprise office”.
The awards contained 7 categories and the shortlisted and winners were:
Best Export Website
This Award recognises and rewards the website which best promotes its business to export markets.
Best Professional Services Website
This Award recognises and rewards the website that best promotes its business in providing customized, knowledge-based services to clients
Best Consumer Services Website
This Award recognises and rewards the website which best promotes its offering to address the wants and needs of individual customers.
Best Manufacturing Website
This Award recognises and rewards the website which demonstrates best practice in web design techniques within the manufacturing sector.
Best Tourism Website
This Award recognises and rewards the website which promotes the best consumer experience within the tourism sector.
The People’s Choice Award
The People’s Champion! All shortlisted entries participated in a public vote held on the Carlow LEO Facebook Account. Over 3,700 votes were received and the winner was:
The overall winner of the County Carlow Web Awards was
The Big Idea
Speaking about the awards, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive with Carlow County Council said:
“I am delighted we as a Local Authority are hosting the first ever County Carlow – Web Awards and I’d like to congratulate the companies, over 50 of them, for putting themselves forward for judging and our winners in the each of the categories”.
“In the past 2 years we have seen a major shift to online trading. The way these companies have developed their online business while also supporting local employment and their bricks and mortar activities is a testament to the resilience and innovative thinking of our business community.”
Kathleen continued to say, “I’d like to thank our judging panel and partners in IT Carlow, Content Plan and the Sunday Business Post for their support of the awards. We look forward to hosting the awards again in early 2023”.
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