A LURGAN business woman is proving that ‘Business is Good’ for Northern Ireland after securing a major title at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Chamber Awards.
Alana Interiors’ Carol Little beat off challengers from across the country to secure the Entrepreneur of the Year title, impressing judges with the way she has developed the department store to offer flooring, furniture, giftware and ladies and children’s fashion.
The retailer has increased turnover by 143% over the last four years and introduced a number of improvements to the customer experience, including the 80-seater Café Alana.
Over the last 12 months, Alana Interiors has also developed its online presence to include a website. As a result, 85% of website customers are from elsewhere in the UK and 15% from the north and south of Ireland.
Ann McGregor, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said: “There has never been a more important time for businesses to showcase the amazing work they are doing on a day-to-day basis. The Chamber Awards is a perfect platform for them to do just that and receive the recognition and profile they deserve for helping move the economy forward and create employment, often in local areas.”
Now in its 9th year, the competition is one of the showcase events that highlights the role of business as a positive force for the UK recovery and the success of local communities and individuals.
Ms McGregor continued: “A record number of firms have taken part this year, all determined to prove that ‘Business is Good’ for the recovery.”
Carol is one of nine regional winners in Northern Ireland, who will now go forward and compete for national titles in their respective categories. All will have a chance to win ‘outstanding business achievement’ and a £25,000 cash prize, courtesy of the RBS Group.