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Entries to the Awards are now closed. Finalists will be notified shortly.

Award Categories

Please click on the categories below to see the Award Criteria

Independent of the Year

This honor will go to the independent business that reflects the spirit and success required to be worthy winner of this headline award. The business will show outstanding initiative, boldness and imagination as well as robust management practices. The judges will be looking for a business that can demonstrate it is truly deserving of this title. The entry could include examples of…

  • how the business has made sustainable growth combined with commercial success that is exceptional for the size of the business
  • how the business’s image, identity, presentation, services or products make it attractive to customers
  • how the culture of the business is totally customer focused and responsive to customer demand
  • how the business has a strong ethos and a long-term vision for the future

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include, for example:

  • testimonials from customers
  • a business mission statement
  • photographs of premises / products and promotional literature
  • Trip Advisor awards or ratings

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Excellence in Customer Service

This hotly pursued award will go to the independent business that gives the very highest levels of customer service and demonstrates responsiveness to customer needs. The judges will be looking for a business who recognises that excellent customer service is key to its success. The entry could include examples of…

  • how excellent customer service is delivered throughout the business
  • how a first-class experience is provided
  • how the business always has the customer at heart
  • how resources are managed to most effectively meet the needs of clients/customers

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • testimonials/feedback from customers
  • numbers of customer repeat bookings or loyalty schemes
  • recognition from Trip Advisor
  • Social media feedback
  • customer survey results

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Best Dressed Retail Store

This award will go to the independent retail store with the most attractive and creative product displays or window settings that serve to attract the right audience. The judges will be looking for a business that demonstrates how their display makes them stand out from the crowd, original and imaginative, inspired and inventive. The entry could include examples of…

  • how the store showcases products to the best advantage
  • how a desirable and attractive environment is created
  • how the business entices visitors into the store and to make a purchase
  • how the dressing shows a bespoke identity, making the business stand out from the crowd

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • photographs of new season launches
  • photographs of window changeovers
  • photographs of new products
  • examples of promotional literature that showcases the interior/exterior of the store

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Best Presented Premises

This award will go to the food, drink, restaurant, hotel, entertainment or leisure establishment who creates a ‘feel good factor’. The judges will be looking for a business that can demonstrate how it makes it easy for the customer to make informed choices by use of signage, cleanliness and those all-important little touches that really make a difference. The entry could include examples of…

  • how the presentation of the premises showcases products/services to the best advantage
  • how the bespoke identity of the business makes them stand out from the crowd
  • how the establishment creates a desirable and attractive environment and entices visitors to spend time, use facilities or make a purchase

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • photographs of new season launches, window changeovers or new products
  • feedback from customers or clients
  • ratings from Trip Advisor
  • examples of promotional literature that showcases the interior/exterior of the store

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Excellence in Team Development

This award will go to the independent business that demonstrates true commitment and consistency in the development and training of team members. The judges will be looking for a business that can demonstrate it is deserving of this prestigious title. The entry could include examples of…

  • how the business provides a supportive environment, enabling their team to progress in the workplace
  • how the business develops the skills of team members
  • how team members are encouraged/supported to obtain qualifications

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • training and retention plans
  • staff surveys or staff feedback
  • in-house courses
  • ‘we listen’ policies
  • where you are a family businesses or owner/operator – initiatives where you’ve sought outside help, support or training

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Hospitality and Leisure Business of the Year

This award will go to the best café, restaurant, bar, leisure facility, entertainment venue or hotel for its overall performance in delivering a welcome atmosphere, great service and overall visitor experience. The judges will be looking for a business that can demonstrate it is a worthy winner of this popular award. The entry could include examples of…

  • how originality, inventiveness and creativity contributes to the success and popularity of the establishment
  • how the business ensures visitors receive consistency in the quality of experience time after time
  • what it is that makes the establishment stand out as a venue of choice for customers

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • feedback from customers / clients
  • numbers of repeat bookings
  • recognition from Trip Advisor
  • Social media feedback

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Community Contributor of the Year

This award will go to the independent who works with or supports the local community which may include charities, residential and business communities. The judges will be looking for a business that demonstrates outstanding commitment and who is making a difference in the community. The entry could include examples of…

  • hosting of local community events or support of local charities
  • how the business gets involved in local activities
  • the sourcing of products or services from the local area
  • responsible or sustainable trading practices
  • how the business employs or gives work experience to local people and practices equal opportunities

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • feedback from the community
  • feedback from charities who have benefited from business activity
  • examples of media coverage

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Employee of the Year

This award will go to the employee who has excelled above expectations. The judges will be looking for the recipient of this award to be someone who has gone the extra mile and has made a fundamental contribution to the business between 1 April 2017 and 29 April 2018. Businesses who nominate an employee for this award could include examples of…

  • how the employee has made an impact in the workplace
  • the employee’s commitment, ability to learn and adapt to new challenges
  • how the employee has excelled above customer or business expectations
  • how the employee has shown enthusiasm and brought a fresh perspective to the business

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of the nomination. Evidence could include:

  • employee of the month or internal recognition schemes
  • project work the employee has led or been involved in
  • business improvement suggestions
  • customer feedback
  • testimonials

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Independent Employer of the Year

This award will go to an outstanding independent employer who stands out amongst other independent businesses. The judges will be looking for a business who inspires their team, invests in its employees to do well and supports them in their role. The employer will bring out the best in the people who make up their team and will recognise and reward a job well done. This is a place where everyone would love to work!

Teams who nominate their employer for this award could demonstrate or include examples of…

  • why team members enjoy being part of the team
  • how the team is managed and kept informed
  • how the team is supported to carry out their role or progress in the workplace
  • how the team is recognised or rewarded
  • what makes the employer stand out above the rest

Entrants are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible in support of their application. Evidence could include:

  • testimonials from team members
  • recognition schemes / written recognition from employer
  • employee training and progression opportunities

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Signal 107 People’s Favourite Business

The public will decide the winner of this prestigious award as the finalists from all 9 award categories will battle it out to become the The People’s Favourite. The winner will be the business who receives the most public votes.

All finalists will be notified. Public voting will take place between June and July 2018 and finalists are encouraged to make the most of this opportunity by seeking votes from their customers using social media, face to face customer interaction and any other way they normally make contact with their customers.

Further information on how to vote will be made available to finalists along with supporting material.

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