Convenience stores and village shops are among the 20 finalists for the Best Small Shops Competition 2015.

Over 300 Applications from book shops, cycle traders, convenience stores, delis and jewellers have been whittled down to the final shortlist.

Applications to the competition were judged on their entrepreneurial activities, working with the community, and innovation in their business. The judging panel included: Dan Hyde, consumer affairs editor of the Daily Telegraph; Peter Brooker, head of corporate affairs, Paypoint; Kenneth Parsons, chief Executive, Rural Shops Alliance, and; Meryl Halls, head of membership, Booksellers Association.

Chairman of the All Party Small Shops Group, Simon Danczuk MP, said: “The number, variety and standard of applications received is testament to the excellent work that small shops do to create employment and serve communities across the country.

”I look forward to celebrating with the 20 finalist in Parliament on 25 February and revealing the winner of the Best Small Shop Competition.”

The judging panel said: “We were impressed and delighted by both the number and calibre of the submissions from retailers for the award. We were all humbled by their energy, impressed by their commitment and in awe of the extent to which the best are embedded in their communities.

“There is no doubt that independent retail is in the hands of creative, innovative, business-savvy individuals who are committed to making their local high street a better place. We congratulate all the shortlisted businesses and thank all the retailers who took the time to showcase their shops.”

The shortlisted candidates for the Best Small Shops Competition are included below. The winner will be revealed at a Parliamentary reception on the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion on Wednesday 25 February 2015.

  • · Belhaven Bikes, Dunbar, East Lothian
  • · Booka Bookshop, Oswestry, Shropshire
  • · Cocoa Amore, Leicester, Leicestershire
  • · Elite meat, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
  • · Heath Stores Horsmonden, Tonbridge, Kent
  • · Hunters of Helmsley, Helmsley, North Yorkshire
  • · Ilsington Village Shop, Ilsington, Devon
  • · Jet Wheel Tyre, Benfleet, Essex
  • · Kirkcowan Cycles, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway
  • · Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath, North East Somerset
  • · Nisa Local Toddington, Toddington, Bedfordshire
  • · Observatory The Opticians, Beccles, Suffolk
  • · Piccola Italia, Worthing, West Sussex
  • · SS20, Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • · The Bakers’ Table, Talgarth, Powys
  • · The Book Nook, Hove, East Sussex
  • · The Mainstreet Trading Company, St Boswells, Roxburghshire
  • · The Music Exchange, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
  • · Village Greens, Charlesworth, Derbyshire
  • · Wise Owl Toys, Worcester, Worcestershire