A Nenagh company has been named as the 2012 winner of the North Tipperary Enterprise Board Awards.
Adsmart, which is run by Tom Ryan, is a marketing and business development house that provides a range of services to SMEs in need of marketing expertise.
The company was started in 2009 by Mr Ryan and has a local, regional and national presence.
The runner-up was Echo IT, also from Nenagh, which is run by Donal Bray and provides a set of IT solutions for home and business users in the Mid-West.
At the announcement of the awards in Kilruane, Rita Guinan, CEO of the enterprise board, said: “These are exciting times for enterprise boards with the integration of the boards into the county councils and the merger of North and South Tipperary county councils.”
Ms Guinan was confident that following the re-organisation, the support that the board gets will be “maintained and enhanced. We are committed to your best interests.”
She revealed that when the boards were established in 1997, unemployment was at 11 per cent, and now stood at around 14 per cent.
“Our contribution should not be under-estimated,” she said.
Junior Minister for Transport Alan Kelly, who presented the awards, echoed Ms Guinan’s sentiments.
“There are 40 jobs involved in the eight finalists at this year’s awards. They are all involved in growth industries and it is great to see North Tipperaray providing people like these. If we all pull together, you can be the backbone of our local economy,” he said.
Deputy Kelly said there was “positive change” coming to the county enterprise boards.
Board chairman Matt Shortt pointed out that 21 per cent of the workforce in North Tipperary was self-employed, some 60 per cent more than the national average.
The restructuring plan, he said, would give a “great opportunity to put together a plan to focus on Tipperary as a single economic map”.
The award for innovation and potential to export went to Chimney Draught Stop Ltd, a Templemore company that has designed and patented a heat retention solution for use in chimneys, and supplies its product to private, local authority and residential developments. The company, which is run by Pat Fogarty and James Coakley, maintains it can save consumers 15 per cent on their energy costs.
The best new business award went to John Commins and Michael Fennelly of Piemontese Meat Company Ltd, Two-Mile Borris.
The company was established to produce, package and sell Irish Piemontese beef, and supplies high end retail outlets.
The other finalists were: Lough Derg Chocolates of Newtown, Nenagh, run by Malachy and Elaine Dorris. They produce a range of chocolates which they sell at farmers markets and in shops.
Also recognised was R&A Meats, t/a as Lisduff Tradional Fine Food. The Rearcross company, run by Robert and Anne Tormey, has developed an experise in dry curing pork.
Templemore’s Grey Mobile Media Ltd, run by Martin and Aoife Grey, was set up in 2011 to provide digital mobile advertising to clients in Ireland and Britain. Their digital display unit can be brought to various locations and can operate in all weathers.
The most unusual company to feature was Brendan and Theresa O’Connor’s Webposit Ltd, t/a Postman Paddy.com
The Portroe company specialises in personalised online greeting cards. Customers log on and design their own cards. When that is done, the company downloads it, prints it and posts it to the recipient. They also offer a range of mugs, t-shirts and keyrings.
Adsmart, which was runner-up at last year’s awards, will now go on to the regional final.