Local shops with a track record in community engagement are being encouraged to put themselves forward for the My Shop is Your Shop community retailing award, which is presented by local MPs.

The MSYS campaign is looking for one winning store from every parliamentary constituency in the UK, building on last year’s campaign which saw 50 stores presented with the award by their local MP.

The award recognises the special relationship independent retailers have with their customers and the extra efforts they make to contribute their communities, whether through support for local groups, charity work, or simply great service.

By asking MPs to present the award, MSYS not only gives the stores valuable local publicity, but also gives the MPs an insight into the value of engaged local retailers.

David Visick, director of communications at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, which runs MSYS, said: “A good relationship with your MP is a massive bonus for an independent store, and in many of the presentations we made last year, the MP was able to give support and advice which was of immediate help to the retailer.

“By demonstrating what a great job local stores do in their constituencies, we have been able to enlist MPs in our efforts in Westminster to establish a fair and level playing field for the independent sector.”

Retailers who believe they have strong ties with their customers that cannot be matched by the national supermarket chains should contact david@fwd-uk.com to put themselves forward for the award.