A high-profile Northern Irish business awards ceremony is on the hunt for the region’s top agri-food firm.

Back, with a new name from the previous UTV Business Eye Awards, The Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards (BEFTAs) 2018, are a new version of Northern Ireland’s longest running business awards.

This year’s revamped awards will offer local companies and leaders the opportunity to enter a total of 18 categories covering every aspect of business in line with growth and emerging trends across the region.

Last year’s agri-food winner – Co. Down diversified vegetable farm Mash Direct – collect its award at the Belfast Waterfront venue in front of a 600-strong audience.

Newry convenience food manufacturer Around Noon Sandwiches lifted the ‘Company of the Year’ award, while meat entrepreneur Peter Hannan was named as ‘Business Personality of the Year’.

This year’s BEFTAs will take place once again at the Belfast Waterfront on Thursday, November 22 under its new name and revamped category line-up for 2018.

New categories include an award for Northern Ireland’s Medium-Sized Company of the Year, the region’s ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ and recognition for NI’s top Professional Services Firm as well as NI’s leading Executive Support Professional.

Speaking at the launch of BEFTAs, head of business banking at First Trust Bank, Seamus McGuckin, said: “In the last year against ongoing challenges and uncertainty, much of Northern Ireland’s business community has gone above and beyond standard practice.

“They have also shown levels of creativity and innovation that can inspire others.”

The closing date for entries to the BEFTAs 2018 will be Friday, October 19. Information on how to enter can be found here.