Recognising the value of all local companies is at the core of The Falkirk Herald Business Awards.
Despite assurances that the district is showing real signs of recovery from the economic recession, times are still tough as firms battle to ensure they are best placed to strengthen their footholds in markets.
Independent retailers, whether they be corner shops or high-end boutiques, have to impress customers not only with the goods they supply but also with the level of service.
Falkirk is well-placed as it has a nationwide reputation for being a shopping centre with a high number and variety of independent stores.
This catergory attracted a large and impressive standard of entries last year, with Lauren Ferguson and her staff from Sisters Boutique the eventual winner.
Best Independent Retailer is open to any business which can demonstrate it has embraced the concept of local sourcing and local trading.
Judges will score on performance in the following areas:
l Local sourcing of raw materials, supplies and products
l Links with businesses and organisations which also subscribe to a local trading ethos
l Employment of a local worforce
l Use of local training providers
l Development of local markets for products and services
l Reducing the impact of transport
l Policy of strong local community engagement
l Contributing positively to the local economy.
To enter online or for more information, visit www.falkirkherald.co.uk and click on the business awards link or go to www.jpsurveys.co.uk/businessawards.
Entries close on Friday, September 25.
The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Polmont on November 20.