Today we are launching our Shop Local Shop Little Heroes awards to recognise the selfless superstars who have gone above and beyond for their customers and communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
In association with Booker, Boost and Mondelez, this new awards scheme seeks to shine a spotlight on the retail heroes who have been doing a fantastic job in keeping local people safe and fed in unprecedented times.
Announcing the scheme, NFRN National President Stuart Reddish explained: “These have been incredibly hard times for independent retailers but members have disregarded the risks to their own health and safety to provide their customers and their communities with a vital lifeline and I am tremendously proud of them.
“The extra lengths and breadths that independent retailers are going to – not just to stay open but to keep all their customers, but especially the elderly and vulnerable people, fed and safe – are truly inspirational and they must not be the forgotten heroes of the Covid-19 outbreak. That spirit ranges from supporting local hospitals and care homes with free products, offering key workers discounts in stores or developing their home news delivery network to deliver any essential products that customers might have. Through our Shop Local, Shop Little Heroes initiative we will make sure that these retailers get the recognition they so truly deserve.”
The deadline is 5pm on Friday July 31.
Finalists will be invited to a luncheon at a top London hotel in October when the three winning retailers will be announced.
Booker Managing Director – Retail Colm Johnson said:
“The importance of local, independent stores to their communities has never been demonstrated more than in recent times, which is why Booker would like to recognise and reward those special retailers and their teams that have made such an impact on the shoppers they serve. Thousands of independent retailers across the UK work tirelessly to ensure they truly are the heart of their communities and Booker would like to say ‘thank you’ to them.”
Boost Drinks Founder and Managing Director Simon Gray said:
“Because of the unbelievable level of support retailers have given to their local communities during COVID-19, risking their lives and catering for the most vulnerable, we felt compelled to show our appreciation. The campaign also matched our ‘We Love Local’ ethos. As a company who exclusively serves the independent sector, championing independent retailers has always been our mantra, now, more so than ever. We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Shop Local Shop Little Heroes campaign.”
Mondelez Trade Communications Manager Susan Nash said:
“We all know what a crucial role independent retailers play in their local communities – not just in times of crisis but all year round. With many shoppers around the country reliant on their local stores for daily essentials and far more, we want to recognise these unsung heroes. With the COVID-19 outbreak meaning many retailers are facing their most challenging operating environment ever, we’re delighted to be a proud supporter of the NFRN’s Shop Local Shop Little Heroes campaign at this important time.”
We will only accept applications on the official forms, which are available to download here: