Aalto Bio Reagents, a Dublin based company founded in 1978, is the overall winner of the Small Firms Association National Small Business Awards 2022 title.

The 18th SFA National Small Business Awards celebrate the achievements of small businesses in Ireland and recognise the important and vital contributions of this sector to the Irish economy.

A total of 42 finalists and five emerging new businesses were selected from hundreds of applications for this year's programme.

Winning company Aalto Bio develops critical raw materials and reagents for the development of diagnostic tests.

The company is the leading producer and provider of existing and emerging infectious disease pathogens and is at the forefront of the earlier test development for diagnosis of many global diseases over many years, including HIV and Covid-19.

SFA Director Sven Spollen-Behrens said the SFA Business Awards programme positions the small business brand as the backbone of the Irish economy continues to grow.

"Each finalist represents the best in small business and are all winners. Small businesses are present in every village, town and city and contribute enormously to economic activity and community engagement," he added.

The nine category winners are:

Manufacturing - sponsored by Permanent TSB - Bevcraft Group, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Food and Drink - sponsored by Bord Bia - VITHIT Drinks, Dublin 2

Services - sponsored by SAGE - Campion Pumps, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Highly Commended: Carlingford Adventure Centre, Carlingford, Co Louth

Outstanding Small Business - sponsored by Cisco - Equine MediRecord, The Curragh, Co Kildare

Innovator of the Year - sponsored by NSAI - EcoVolt, Dublin 11

Highly Commended: One Agency Recruitment, Dublin 15

Exporter of the Year - sponsored by Enterprise Ireland - Aalto Bio Reagents, Dublin 14

Sustainability - sponsored by SBCI - Ballykilcavan Brewing Company, Stradbally, Co Laois

Highly Commended: Bread 41, Dublin 2

Workplace Wellbeing - sponsored by DeCare - ZOMA, Dundalk, Co Louth

Retail - sponsored by One4all Rewards - Verve Boutique, Donegal Town.

Highly Commended: Reflect AutoCare, Dublin 11

The winners of the Emerging New Business Awards, sponsored by .IE, were Coopman Search and Selection, Craft Cocktails, Lakeland Kayaks, BiaSol and Sea Green Health.

Entrants in this category are under two years in business and the winners were identified by the judging panel as companies that will grow into successful organisations.