THE Ashton Independent Business Awards provided a ray of sunshine after one of the most difficult periods they have ever been confronted with.
The awards, now in their second year, recognise traders and the benefits they bring to the town.
Kevin Taylor, chair of Ashton Town Team, said: “Our small independent businesses have had a difficult 18 months and still face further challenges ahead.
“I encourage everyone to shop local where they can to support our town centres in Tameside because local traders appreciate every customer.”
The Town Team’s Special Award went to jewellers Harrington and Hallworth while the Sponsor’s Choice prize, from Bromleys Solicitors, went to Decisions Clothing.
During May and June, Ashton Town Team encouraged shoppers to nominate their favourite independent businesses for the awards, with more than 600 nominations received.
Once the top three nominated businesses had been selected, it was up to a four strong panel of judges to select a winner in each category.
Jackie Moores, Tameside College principal, returned for her second year on the panel.
She said: “It was a tough job to select winners in each category owing to the very high quality of the applications.
“I am proud to be a Tameside resident and to have access to great businesses in Ashton from a wide range of sectors.
“After a tough couple of years during the pandemic and having to move to online shopping, I am glad to be back to buying local from excellent suppliers and retailers.
“I hope all Tameside residents take the opportunity to send business to our winners.
“As a college, we try wherever possible to use local suppliers to support the local economy in Tameside. #BuyLocal #ExcellenceOnYourDoorstep.”
This year’s winners
Town Team’s Special Award: Harrington and Hallworth
Sponsor’s Choice prize: Decisions Clothing
Hair, health and beauty: Dionnes Hair Salon
Fashion and footwear: New Shu
Flowers, cards, gifts: Cards Galore
Games, computers and technology: Rewind Computers
Fresh food retail: Fruit and Roots
Café and takeaway: Tarp’s Filipino Fusion
Retail specialist: All Things Unique
Jewellers: Argenti Jewellers
Market trader: Wendy and Mandy’s Café
Restaurant: Lilly’s Patisserie and Bistro
You can find details of this year’s winners online at www.ashtonsmallbiz.co.uk and you can find Ashton Town Team on Facebook.