Excellent community stores across the UK have enjoyed a moment in the spotlight thanks to the big-name suppliers behind the My Shop is Your Shop awards scheme.
Twenty-five shop teams who demonstrate the friendship, flexibility and concern for their customers that makes them invaluable community assets have so far received awards from their local MPs, with more to follow over the summer.
Many have received prominent coverage in local media as a result of their win, as well as having the chance to share their concerns with their constituency representative. The scheme is backed by Coca Cola Enterprises, Britvic Soft Drinks, Heinz UK, JTI, Nestle Waters, Pepsico, Cadbury and Imperial Tobacco.
David Visick of MSYS said: “Our partners recognise how important the independent channel is to their businesses and with their help we’ve been able to introduce MPs to these exceptional stores, and show them what privately-owned local shops bring to their constituencies. These stores offer fresh and healthy options, they take their social responsibilities very seriously, and the visitors were often surprised to find that they are competitive with the larger chains on key product lines.
“Most of all we have been able to show just how important a good community-engaged shop is to its neighbourhood, and from the comments we’ve had for the MPs, I believe we now have some keen supporters in the House of Commons.”
What the MPs say:
“Shops like this are right in the heart of local communities where, as well as providing a much-needed retail service, they play a social role. I take my hat off to these small retailers who work extremely long hours and give so much back to their communities.”
Gordon MacDonald MSP, at Broadway Convenience Store, Edinburgh
“There’s nothing more important than community stores. People rely on the products and services they provide and I’m very proud to present this certificate and acknowledge the important role Raj and his team play in the local community.”
John Cruddas MP, at Krishna’s Convenience Store, Dagenham
“The fact that this team’s efforts are being recognised is a real tribute to the hard work that goes into small businesses in our town.”
Gordon Marsden MP, at Smiley’s Blackpool
“They look after their neighbours, providing support for the elderly and guidance for the young. The team have demonstrated that they have a sense of responsibility, which is what society is all about.”
Sir Peter Bottomley MP, at Elm Grove Newsagents, Worthing