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7 May 2021

Based at Activate Learning's Bracknell & Wokingham College campus this brand new workshop is the latest addition to their expanding number of Cytech training workshops across the country.

7 May 2021

Pennine Cycles, shortlisted last year for two awards in the Best Small Shops competition, have now been nominated in the BikeBiz Awards

6 May 2021

Maybe* take examples from successful businesses that used social media to flourish despite the pandemic

5 May 2021

The Government has agreed an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will enable shops to offer cashback to customers without making a purchase.

29 Apr 2021

Armed with research data from Maybe*, a panel of retail industry expertshave collaborated to create this whitepaper with one goal - to help businesses thrive in this new era of uncertainty.

28 Apr 2021

The Bank of England has released free training materials for retailers with the aim of refreshing awareness of how to check banknotes.

28 Apr 2021

ACT members can receive excellent benefits with NearSt, a powerful platform that encouragers more shoppers through the doors of specialist cycle shops

27 Apr 2021

Defra has just confirmed that the amendments to the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 will not be coming into force on 30th April 2021 as originally...

26 Apr 2021

A summary of what each party's manifesto will mean for small shops ahead of the Welsh Parliamentary elections on 6th May.

23 Apr 2021

A summary of what each party's manifesto will mean for small shops ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6th May.

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Best Small Shops competition 2020 announces extended shortlist of 30 shops!

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Shops from as far afield as Devon and Cumbria, Camarthenshire and Suffolk and including bookshops, zero waste shops, an artisan cheese shop, an artisan gin shop, an independent record shop and an art gallery, have been named on the shortlist of retailers in the running to be named Britain's Best Small Shop of 2020.

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), whose member trade associations represent approximately 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK between them. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK's High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Maybe*, an engagement platform that helps make social media work for independent retailers. The winner will be announced in November.

In addition to the main award, some shops have also been shortlisted for a special award to be given to the independent retailer that has demonstrated specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19. This award is sponsored by booost, the loyalty, gifting and promotions app.

In previous years the competition has announced a list of 25 shortlisted shops in the running to be crowned Britain's Best Small Shop. However, due to the high number of excellent quality entrants this year there has been a total of 30 shops announced in the running to be named Winner, Runner Up or Most Innovative Business During COVID-19.

"This has been a particularly challenging year for small, independent retailers and many have come through to this point through innovation, quality of product and service, a commitment to serve their local communities and a large dose of determination," explains Mark Walmsley, Chair of the IRC.

"As more and more people have been forced to stay home and work from home, we have seen just how much we all value local independent shops and want to see them not just survive, but also thrive. These shops offer choice, diversity and genuine customer service. And, after what has been a rather dark year, that has to be worth celebrating."

The annual competition highlights the best of Britain's independent retail sector, celebrating the commitment and creativity of independent retailers and the central role they play in their local communities. Previous winners have included Bristol-based delicatessen Papadeli, the 2019 winner, and The Mainstreet Trading Company, a combined bookshop, café, deli & homeware shop based in St Boswells, in the rural Scottish Borders, which won in 2018.

The shortlisted shops for 2020 are:

A G Hendy & Co, a homeware shop in Hastings, which offers practical plastic free, eco-friendly goods for the home.

Art In The Mill, a contemporary and independent art gallery in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Books At The Dragon's Garden, an appointment only bookshop in Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire.

Brecon Chocolates, which stocks a large range of handmade onsite chocolates and truffles as well as its own range of dairy free, gluten free chocolates.

Cawthornes, a family business in Nuneaton that has been trading since 1868, which supplies print, graphic design, office supplies and promotional gifts.

Cornucopia, a family run, independent, home and gift shop in Worcester.

Elmy Cycles, an independent bicycle retailer in Ipswich, which remained open from the first day of lockdown in March, adapting and changing its business as it went along.

Fillfull, a plastic free shop in Ottery St Mary, East Devon, where you can buy refills and eco products for your zero waste journey.

Grace's Bakery, a three generation family bakery in Ryde, Isle of Wight, which was established by the Redrup family in 1997.

Griffin Books, an independent bookshop in Penarth, which offers a range of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children, alongside maps, greeting cards and gifts.

Mr B's Emporium Of Reading Delights, an innovative bookshop in the heart of Bath, which has built its business around book recommendations.

Naked Pantry & Naked Quench, the New Forest's first and only Zero Waste plastic free groceries & coffee shop in New Milton.

Newton Farm Shop & Café at Newton St Loe on the outskirts of Bath, which has developed from a butcher's counter to a well-stocked shop and award-winning cafe serving home-reared meat from the farm.

Nourish of Topsham, an ethical, packaging-free, zero waste provisions shop in Topsham, near Exeter.

Oberon Clothing & Accessories, a ladies clothing, jewellery and accessories boutique in the heart of Shrewsbury.

The Pangbourne Cheese Shop in Pangbourne, near Reading, which offers around 130 local, British and continental cheeses, mostly from small artisan producers.

Pennine Cycles, an independent cycle shop in Bradford, which specialises in road bikes but sells all bikes including children's, hybrids and BMXs as well as cycling accessories and apparel.

Recycle York, a cycle shop in York, which buys, sells and repairs bicycles as well as refurbishing bikes for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Richardson's Of Whitehaven, an independent wine merchant and coffee roaster in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

Ruby and the Angel, a gift shop in Debenham, near Stowmarket, Suffolk, which offers a range including jewellery, scarves, handbags and cards.

Shed 1 Distillery, an award-winning gin shop and distillery in Ulverston, Cumbria, which offers gin gifts, artisan gin and handmade local gin distilled in the Lake District.

Small Stuff UK, a children's shop in Sheffield, which specialises in ethical and eco-conscious lifestyle products and clothing for small children.

Soak Southwell, a bath products shop in Southwell, near Nottingham, which offers high quality, handmade, vegan friendly, plastic free bathing products.

Sophie Sews, a soft furnishing shop in Horsell near Woking, which creates bespoke curtains, blinds and soft furnishings for clients.

Sound Records, a record shop in Stroud, which sells the best records of all genres from rock, jazz and funk to Latin, African and hip hop.

Stationery Supplies, a stationery shop in Marple, Cheshire, which one customer described as having "the most epic array of stationery and the loveliest owner".

Sweet Baby Cheezus, a cheesecake shop in Bramley, Leeds, which also tempts customers with cookies and brownies.

T.H. Burroughs, a family butcher and farm shop in Swindon, which was first established nearly eighty years ago and is now being managed by the family's third generation.

The Bead Shop in Nottingham, which stocks a large range of beading & jewellery making materials and a wide range of kits designed in-house.

Wild Thyme, an independent wholefood shop in Southsea, which is a worker co-operative, and which includes a juice bar and take-away counter.

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