Don’t miss your chance to vote for your favourite business in St Albans as nominations for the Retailer of the Year Awards are set to close in less than two weeks.

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

The specialist shops category will be open from October 25, hair and beauty will be open from November 1 and people can also vote for their favourite food and drink shops from November 8.

Festive pubs will be the sixth category, with nominations opening on November 15.

The closing date for nominations will be on Friday, November 24.

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.

The competition began nearly 10 years ago as the brainchild of cllr Roma 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 said: “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.”

Send your nominations in the post to Rachel Russell, Retailer of the Year Competition, Observer House, Caxton Way, Watford Business Park, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0NF Or email