Nearly ten thousand shoppers and customers across Northern Ireland have cast their vote and chosen their High Street Heroes in a range of categories over the past four weeks. The awards will see old favourites battle new faces in a bid to become the ‘High Street Hero’ of their respective category.
Ballymoney, Newtownards and Coleraine have been shortlisted for the High Street of the Year with Wardens, Newtownards, Couples in Coleraine, and The Winsome Lady in Ballymoney making the shortlist for Independent Retailer of the Year.
The winners in each category of Retail NI’s High Street Heroes awards will be announced at an exclusive evening reception in Hinch Distillery on Wednesday 17 August.
Votes were cast across 11 different categories with shoppers and customers asked to name their favourite convenience store, deli, butcher, off-licence or coffee shop, along with the coveted High Street of the Year.
High Street Heroes
High Street Heroes NI is a joint campaign from Retail NI and Belfast Live supported by National Lottery operator Camelot and Voice for Locals.
The full list of nominees can be viewed on www.retailni.com.
Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said: “The High Street Heroes campaign is a brilliant celebration of Northern Ireland’s independent retailers. The nominees are based across Northern Ireland showing a wide-spread response to the campaign and emphasising the community support for the retailers.
“Many small rural businesses have been shortlisted, being recognised by their customers for the service they provide to their local community.
“It has been a very difficult two years for independent retailers, but this campaign has shone a light on how valued they are in their community and to our local economy.”
Editor-in-Chief of Reach Ireland, Chris Sherrard, said: “In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, it is brilliant to see consumers across Northern Ireland getting behind their favourite retailers and voting for their High Street Hero.
“The resilience independent retailers have shown is remarkable and the awards highlight the value they contribute to their local communities.”
Retail Director of Camelot, Jenny Blogg said: “We are delighted to support High Street Heroes NI again this year to help highlight some of the excellent work Northern Ireland retailers continue to do in their communities. From small corner shops to local newsagents and well-stocked convenience stores, our 44,000 retail partners are the backbone of The National Lottery and have been for almost 28 years now, and their fantastic work has not gone unnoticed – especially over the last few years.”
Voice For Locals Founder, Jay Thattai, said: “We all have our personal favourite local independent retailers close to where we live. It has never been more important to voice for locals and really show how important they are to communities across Northern Ireland. It is those retailers who encourage people into cities, towns and villages to enjoy the unique local choices, quality and personal touch on offer.
“It is brilliant to see local consumers voting for their favourite independent retailers and being proud of the fantastic contribution they make to the high streets.”