Entries are now open for a business awards scheme that will honour a town’s independent retailers.
With non-essential stores now open again, the awards will put retailers in the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside in the spotlight as they strive to attract shoppers back to the area.
The Ashton Independent Business Awards are in their second year and are once again being sponsored by Bromleys Solicitors, which is based in the town.
Prizes will be awarded in 10 categories spanning cafés and takeaways, fashion and footwear, floral, gifts and cards, fresh food, games, computing and technology, hair and beauty, jewellers, market trader, restaurant and retail specialist.
The awards are run by the Ashton Town Team, a voluntary group which supports small businesses in the town centre.
The area covered by the awards includes Ashton Market, Market Ground, shopping centres and surrounding streets.
Shoppers and businesses are invited to submit nominations via a dedicated website. The closing date for entries is Tuesday, June 22 and the winners will be announced on July 4 – which has been dubbed Independents Day.
Bromleys Solicitors partner Paul Westwell said: “We are delighted to sponsor the awards once again this year after their hugely successful launch in 2020.
“Independent retail has faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, and supporting small businesses is more important than ever.”
Councillor Bill Fairfoull, deputy chair of Ashton Town Team, said: “We are really pleased to announce we are running the Ashton Independent Business Awards again. We know it’s been a difficult time but let’s hope we can have a better one.
“I hope the public will get involved and vote for their favourite independent businesses in Ashton town centre.”
Pictured left to right are Luke Mirfin (Tameside Markets management team), Nigel Skinner (editor, Tameside Reporter), Councillor Janet Cooper (Civic Mayor of Tameside), Dennis Fitzpatrick (Civic Mayor’s Consort), Paul Westwell (Bromleys Solicitors), Ben Goodwin (Barclays), Councillor Bill Fairfoull (deputy chair of Ashton Town Team) and Jackie Moores (principal and chief executive, Tameside College).
Luke Mirfin, Nigel Skinner, Ben Goodwin and Jackie Moores are the award judges.