Contest seeks to find the best small shops in the UK

At a time when retail giants are seen to be struggling on the high street there’s a new competition designed to celebrate the best of small shops and independent retailers.

Just walk through Hastings old town and parts of St Leonards and there are plenty of unique, quirky and one-off shops and boutiques that this competition has been made for. In addition there are traditional shops whose owners are determined to continue to provide the very best of personal service when competing against the retail giants.

George Street… shops along this street must be prime candidates to win the Best Small Shops award.

Recognising this Hastings’ MP Amber Rudd  has called on small shopkeepers in Hastings and Rye to enter the competition that celebrates the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in the community.

The Best Small Shops Competition is open to any small shop* operating in the UK. The competition is free to enter and all shops that enter will be adverised to consumers through an online retail directory of independent shops.

Shopkeepers can nominate their businesses up until Sunday September 9th via A shortlist of 25 of the most impressive applications will be shortlisted by a panel made up of established representatives from the independent retail industry.

The judges will be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.

The shortlisted small shops will be invited to a Parliamentary Reception on the November 13th to meet their member of parliament and find out who will be crowned the Best Small Shop for 2018.

Speaking about the competition, Ms Rudd said: “In Hastings and in Rye we have some fantastic small shops and independent retailers who make our high streets so interesting and unique. I encourage all small shop owners to get involved with this competition, which we have a good chance of winning due to the hard work and creativity of the people within our towns.”

  • *For the purposes of the competition, a small shop is defined as a non-corporate business selling goods or services to the public for use or consumption rather than for resale, from a business rated premises in the UK.
  • The entries for 2018’s Best Small Shop competition are now open. Submit your entry at

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