Two Brighton entrepreneurs yesterday attended a Parliamentary Reception after being shortlisted for the Best Small Shop Award 2018.
Kellie Miller of Kellie Miller Arts Gallery and Peter Allinson of Whirligig Toyshop were among 100 retailers from across the country shortlisted for the Independent Retailers Confederation prize, which is designed to celebrate the commitment and creativity of entrepreneurial small shops on the UK's High Streets and the central role they play in building local communities.
Kellie Miller received a ‘highly commended’ award as special recognition of her innovative business.
Caroline Lucas MP, who also attended the event, said: "It's brilliant to see two of Brighton's independent businesses shortlisted for the Best Small Shop Award. Our city is famous for our vibrant and creative small firms, and they make a huge contribution to our community.
"The Government should be supporting people like Kellie and Peter by ensuring internet giants like Amazon don't have unfair tax advantages over small bricks and mortar shops. I'd encourage everyone to visit the likes of Whirligig and Kellie Miller Arts Gallery in the run-up to Christmas."
Kellie Miller said: “I am so delighted to be shortlisted and receive a highly commended award for the Best Small Shop Competition. With few initiatives available to celebrate the success of retailers I am honoured that Kellie Miller Arts has been recognised for the contribution made to Brighton’s High Street.
“With the current retail climate and the uncertainty of Brexit, positive encouragement and good retail examples are paramount to help our high street thrive. Independent retailers of all types face massive challenges and all support is invaluable.”
Peter Allinson said: “Being shortlisted for the Best Small Shops competition is such a honour. We were delighted to be recognised as a retailer who is making a difference on the high street and giving our customers an excellent experience.
“The small shops in Brighton, and across the country, contain so much innovation. They are run by passionate people who really know what they are talking about and who provide a stimulating environment where people love to shop. Whirligig is all about giving children memorable experiences through toys and play. We love what we do and our customers really respond to this.
“It is great to have support from our local MP and many others from across Parliament. We think this has been a great initiative and we were proud to be involved.”