Annual High Street Hero Awards will celebrate the impact independent retailers make to the local economy and communities.
Retail NI is encouraging the public in Ballymoney to cast their vote for their favourite high street retailers and help identify who will be recognised with a coveted High Street Hero Award for 2023 in its annual celebration of the best of Northern Ireland’s independent retail sector.
A record 10,000 local votes were registered in last year’s competition which saw Newtownards and Coleraine named joint winners of the prestigious High Street of the Year award.
Newtownards retailer Wardens was also overall winner of Retailer of the Year, which helped to secure the busy County Down town as the official launch location for this year’s overall awards.
Retail NI is delighted to announce a brand-new category for 2023 Best Green Retailer. To enter this category, retailers in Ballymoney must submit a 30-second video showcasing their environmental credentials, for example, in recycling, energy efficiency or other measures. These videos will then be uploaded to the voting portal where the public will cast their votes.
Videos for the Best Green Retailer must be received by 23 June to ensure that they are uploaded to the voting portal.
Online voting for all 13 categories officially opens on Independents’ Day on Tuesday 4 July when Ballymoney shoppers are encouraged to support their High Street and the big impact independent retailers make to the local economy.
Launching the awards for 2023, Glyn Roberts, Retail NI Chief Executive, said: “Independent retail is the lifeblood of communities right across Northern Ireland and our annual High Street Heroes NI campaign represents the biggest celebration of our thriving local retail sector. This year, we’re preparing to mark our biggest ever showcase event and a massive celebration of the individual businesses who are the beating heart of our many towns and cities.
“The awards are open to local retailers right across Northern Ireland – Portaferry to Pomeroy, Newry to Newtownabbey and Strabane to Scarva and will identify those local independent retailers who are taking a lead. Whether it’s a local butcher that’s a cut above the rest or fashion retailer with exceptional style, it’s time to vote for your favourite in Ballymoney now.”
A second new additional category – Best Generalist Retailer – means the public in Ballymoney can vote for any retailer not covered by an existing category.
Winners are determined solely by public nominations which must be made online by 31 July 2023. For more information on how to cast your vote, visitwww.RetailNI.com/High-Street-Heroes.
Retail NI, which represents the independent retail and wholesale sector in Northern Ireland, launched the High Street Heroes NI campaign to recognise and reward local retailers and their impact on local communities – 70 pence in every £1 spent with a local independent retailer is recycled through the economy, supporting local producers, manufacturers and invested back into the community.
The hugely successful High Street Hero NI awards is a joint initiative powered by Retail NI and supported Camelot, Roam, Strategic Power Connect and Belfast Live.
Welcoming the launch of this year’s awards, Alex Greene, Retail Director, Camelot, said: “High Street Heroes NI showcases the excellent work that Northern Ireland retailers deliver every day for their local communities, and Camelot is delighted to once again be supporting the campaign.
“For almost 30 years, our 43,000 retail partners have been the backbone of The National Lottery and our continued support for the annual awards is just one way in which we show our valued partners that their fantastic work has not gone unnoticed. We wish every retailer the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating both the winners and nominees at the awards night.”
Andrew Bartlett, Founder and Chief Executive of Roam, said: “Retail NI’s annual Hight Street Hero awards are a benchmark of excellence for the independent retail sector which recognise those businesses and the people behind them to go above and beyond to serve their communities. We’re delighted to be involved.”
Ruth Kimbley, Director of Communications, Strategic Power Connect, said: “This year’s awards represent independent retail at its best and spotlight the world class contribution our local businesses make, their customer focus and being great places to work. New to this year’s awards is the ‘Green Retailer’ category. We would encourage everyone in Northern Ireland when voting for their favourite retailer to recognise the innovative steps retailers are taking to become more sustainable and give them the recognition they deserve in an ever-changing environment.”
Shortlisted retailers will be announced in early August, with an awards evening scheduled to take place in late August.