Business Person of the Year

Omagh Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Person of the Year 2010

Peter McBride of the Spar Group was thrilled to be the recipient of this year’s Omagh Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Person of the Year’ award.  In a missive to the chamber’s President, Gerard O’Hanlon, the Omagh man described the recognition as ‘fantastic.’ Over 100 members of the local business community and public representatives attended the award ceremony and banquet in Kelly’s Inn, Garvaghey on Friday 21st May.

Amongst the distinguished guests were the Chairman of Omagh District Council (ODC), Paddy McGowan, ODC Chief Executive, Danny McSorley and Joe Barbour who is President of Strabane Chamber of Commerce. Guest speaker at the award night was leading entrepreneur, Siobhan McAleer from Dromore who set up The Mortgage Shop in 1992. Today the company has 21 outlets across the North.

On behalf of her husband, Julie McBride accepted Peter’s prestigious award from Dr Nicholas O’Shiel, the Chief Executive of Omagh Enterprise Company Limited, sponsors of the prestigious accolade. The McBride Spar Group currently operates seven stores with two in Omagh, one in Dromore, three in Enniskillen and another in Lurgan. They employ over 240 workers on a full and part time basis and expect to take on a further 40 people by the end of the summer. The group is the largest independent Spar retailer in the North and has been honoured with a number of awards in recent years. These include the NI Retailer of the Year in 2001 and winner of the UK Independent Retailer of the Year award in 2004. Mr McBride was unable to attend the event as he had already committed to travelling to the International Spar Congress in Dongguan in China.


Mr O’Hanlon was glowing in his tribute to Mr McBride and the work that is being carried out by businesses throughout Omagh.  He told the gathering, “Peter’s work is a great illustration of a local business that has grown over the years and continues to be successful despite the current economic climate. I wish to congratulate him on this fantastic contribution to the local economy and providing employment for well over 400 people. He is a truly worthy recipient of the award.” In his optimistic address, he added, “In these tough and uncertain economic times it is to be welcomed that there is such interest and potential investment in the Omagh area. There are currently several major developments planned in the residential and public sector for Omagh.” Amongst the enterprises he highlighted were, the A5 Western Transport Corridor and Omagh Riverside Walk as well as a number of commercial developments.

He concluded, “These developments will bring foreign investment to Omagh and give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop new business locally. It will also give our young people the opportunity to have highly skilled well paid employment locally. “In these tough and uncertain times it is most important that we stay positive, work hard and always tell people how great Omagh is. We have come through much tougher and more uncertain times than this before. We will come through these times stronger and more determined than ever.”

Anyone who would be interesting in obtaining more information or in becoming a member of Omagh Chamber of Commerce is asked to contact Elaine Fyffe, membership office, on 028 82249494, Ext 259.

Article originally published in the Ulster Herald