People have only a few days left to vote for their top businesses in St Albans city centre as the Retailer of the Year Awards returns.

Cllr Roma Mills, who represents the Batchwood Ward, is urging people to nominate their top businesses before the closing date for nominations, which is on Friday, November 24.

She said: “This is your chance to give your favourite shop or hair salon a real boost in the run up to Christmas.

“Let us know how good they are and nominate them now.”

People can nominate for retailers around the city centre located in St Peters Street, Catherine Street, London Road, Chequer Street, the High Street, the top part of Verulam Road and Holywell Hill.

The competition began nearly 10 years ago as the brainchild of Cllr Mills, who represents Batchwood and Martin Buhagiar, the former editor of the Review.

Together they built the competition up with the support of the St Albans Civic Society, the Chamber of Commerce and the District Council, with the aim of supporting and promoting the city centre.

The competition did not run last year as they lost two members of the group and a break “was needed”, however, it is making a comeback once more again this winter.

A previous winner of the returning Retail Awards has praised the competition for recognising small businesses in St Albans.

Sue Bradford, the owner of FunZone Fancy Dress & Dancewear, in High Oaks, St Albans, won the first Neighbourhood Shops title at the 2015 Retailer of the Year Awards.

She previously told The St Albans Review: “It was lovely for us to be voted for, as it shows we are doing good things for our customers.“Smaller businesses are important for the community and we need award ceremonies like these to recognise them and keep them going.

“We have the personal touch and know our customers come back as they can talk to us and are not just a robot delivery service.”

This year, people nominated their top market trader from October 11 onwards, along with their top fashion and accessories outlet from October 18.

The specialist shops category opened from October 25, hair and beauty opened from November 1 and people could also vote for their favourite food and drink shops from November 8.

Festive pubs, the sixth category, had nominations openingfrom November 15.

Mystery shoppers will then visit the businesses which have received nominations between November 27 and December 11, before the shortlisted retailers will be announced on January 2.

A gala night will be held at the Alban Arena, in St Albans, on January 29.

Send your nominations by email to or text 07824530136. You can also text the word ‘retailer’ followed by the name of your trader to 80360.

Alternatively, fill out the coupon and drop it into the council offices at the Civic Centre, in St Peter’s Street.