The WIRE Awards

WIRE Awards Launch

Calling all Independent Retailers…..Awards scheme launched

Nominations are now open for the first annual Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence (WIRE) Awards.

The awards, announced by the Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Roger Lawrence, are being led by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the council.

The aim is to celebrate and praise the entrepreneurial spirit, dedication and hard work of those involved in running and managing a successful independent business, as well as to recognise the loyalty and dedication of the staff that work in this sector.

There are 12 honours up for grabs, with nominations called for in 11 categories. A public vote is open to find Wolverhampton’s ‘Favourite Retailer’.

The other categories are Independent Retailer of the Year, Retail Personality of the Year, Excellence in Customer Service, Best Dressed Shop or Outlet, Employee of the Year, Leader’s Award – Apprentice or Trainee of the Year, Excellence in Staff Development, Hospitality & Leisure Business of the Year, Community Retailer of the Year, Most Improved Business of the Year, and New Business of the Year.

The awards are open to independent retailers from across the city, provided they have a Wolverhampton postcode.

Councillor Lawrence, who announced the awards during his annual address at Full Council, last night, said: “It is vital that we listen to the voice of businesses and that we support and nurture growth here in the city.

“That’s why, last year, I proposed an annual award event for the city’s independent retailers.

“I’m pleased to say that, in collaboration with Wolverhampton BID, we are delivering on that promise.

“We very much value the presence of the small businesses in the city and the creative local people behind them.

“These are the businesses that help give Wolverhampton its own identity and character, and it is only right their efforts should be recognised by these awards.”

John Henn, Chair of Wolverhampton BID, added: “As a 6th generation Wulfrunian, independent business owner and chair of the Wolverhampton BID Board, I’m excited to see the Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence Awards being launched across our city.

“The awards are a real opportunity to shout about the fantastic range of independent retailers, from our small cafes and bars through to our top quality stores carrying international brands, bringing a rich diversity to our high streets.

“There is an award category to suit all independent retailers, so take this opportunity to tell us about your business in our city and enter now at”

A number of sponsors, including the Express & Star, Wolverhampton Racecourse, Ramada Park Hall Hotel & Spa, NCP, Black Country Reinvestment Society and the Mander Centre have already committed their support to the awards, with more names to be confirmed.

Entries to the WIRE Awards can be made at or click on the tab on the homepage.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday, April 30, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony this summer.


For the purpose of the WIRE Awards an independent retailer is defined as:

  • Someone who is responsible for his or her own business
  • A small to medium public facing business, where the public can walk in and buy goods or services face to face
  • Not a national chain
  • An independent retailer can include, for example, shops, café’s, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other independent enterprises