Public are encouraged to cast their retail favourites online before deadline of Monday 31 July to help secure local winners!

Nominations for this year’s High Street Hero Awards, powered by Retail NI, are now open until Saturday 31 July and locals from across the Belfast City Council area are being encouraged to vote for their favourite online to help them win a coveted award.

A record 10,000 votes from across Northern Ireland were registered in last year’s competition which saw Newtownards and Coleraine named joint winners of the prestigious High Street of the Year award.

Online voting is now officially under way for 13 categories, including two new categories for this year – Best Green Retailer and Best Generalist Retailer – so there’s plenty of chances to ensure retailers in every town and village get recognised in what promises to be the biggest and best annual retail initiative yet.

Winners are determined solely by public nominations which must be made online by Monday 31 July 2023. For more information on how to cast your vote, visit

Glyn Roberts, Retail NI Chief Executive, said: “The awards are open to local retailers right across Northern Ireland and will identify those local independent retailers who are taking a lead. Whether it’s a local butcher that’s a cut above the rest or a fashion retailer with exceptional style, it’s time to vote for your top favourites in Belfast City Council area now.”

Independent retail is the lifeblood of communities right across Northern Ireland and our annual High Street Heroes NI campaign represents the biggest celebration of our thriving local retail sector.”

Retail NI, which represents the independent retail and wholesale sector in Northern Ireland, launched the High Street Heroes NI campaign to recognise and reward local retailers and their impact on local communities – 70p in every £1 spent with a local independent retailer is ploughed back into local the economy, supporting local producers, suppliers and staff.

The hugely successful High Street Hero NI awards is a joint initiative powered by Retail NI and supported by Camelot, Roam, Strategic Power Connect and Belfast Live. Shortlisted nominees will be announced in early August.

Welcoming this year’s awards and encouraging local residents to get involved, Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council, Cllr Ryan Murphy, said,

“Our high streets are a key part of Belfast’s neighbourhoods and are vital for doing business, shopping and socialising. An intrinsic part of everyday life, small, independent businesses like butchers, coffee shops and fashion stores contribute not just to jobs and the wider economy, but to bringing people together and developing strong and thriving local communities.

 “This is a great opportunity for residents to shine a spotlight on those people and businesses who make a valuable contribution to the vitality of their area. I would encourage everyone to get involved in the competition and to vote early and for as many categories as you can.”

Retail NI was established in 2000 and is the only business organisation which represents the independent retail sector in Northern Ireland at every level of government. Its 1,800-strong membership includes wholesalers, independent retailers of all kinds, suppliers to the sector and affiliated chambers of commerce and local traders’ groups. For further information contact