Maybugs shop on the high street in East Sussex

The Small Awards High Street Heroes

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The Small Awards  has announced the finalists in its nationwide search for the smallest and greatest independent high street businesses.

Eight standout small firms from across the UK have been shortlisted for the 2023 finals of the ‘High Street Hero’ Small Awards category, which is sponsored by TSB. 

In its seventh year The Small Awards is organised annually by Small Business Britain, which champions, inspires and accelerates small businesses in the UK. 

From family-run shoe shops to independent delis, the eight shortlisted businesses include a fantastic display of high street firms across the nation, including:

  • W J French and Son – a family-run shoe shop in Southampton established in 1803
  • Northern Card Gaming – a Northern Ireland-based hobby and games store that regularly runs events for its local community 
  • Drake the Bookshop – an independent and family-run book shop in Stockton-on-Tees, in County Durham.
  • TOAST – a collection of independent coffee houses in Suffolk which champion sustainability
  • Wave of Nostalgia – a small bookshop in Keighley in West Yorkshire focused on inclusivity and female independence
  • People First Mobility  –  a Skegness-based business providing locals and holiday-goers with mobility equipment
  • The East Street Deli – a husband – and – wife run independent deli in Wimbourne, Dorset
  • Maybugs – a collection of three independent gift shops in East Sussex.

“These shortlisted businesses are all heroes as they go above and beyond for their local towns, cities and communities” said Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain. 

“Independent businesses like these are vital to help keep the nation’s high streets alive, and they play such an important role in bringing people together. We are so excited to announce the winner of the High Street Hero award at this year’s Small Awards in May.”

Adeel Hyder, Business Banking Director at TSB said:

“It’s fantastic to see such an impressive group of businesses that have been shortlisted for the High Street Hero award. Times have been tough recently for independent businesses and it is so encouraging to see such optimism shine through despite the challenges they’ve faced. A huge congratulations to all the finalists.”

Judged by a panel of industry experts, the winners of all categories, along with the overall winner of Small Business of the Year, will be announced at a glittering awards night in London on 18 May 2023. 

This event follows the incredible return of the in-person Small Awards ceremony last year, which had been held online during the pandemic. The ceremony will this year be held at St Mary’s church in London, with plans underway for a night of entertainment, inspiration and celebration for UK’s greatest small businesses.