The awards, which are run annually by the Labour run Bridgend County Borough Council and Bridge FM, are aimed at recognising and celebrating retail excellence among local businesses in a range of categories.
They include Customer Service, Professional / Service Industry, Independent Retailer, Evening Economy, Market Stall, Specialist Retailer, National Retailer, Shooting Star, Fabulous Food and Hair & Beauty.
The winner of last year’s best independent retailer category, Michelle Smith, said she would “definitely recommend” the awards for other businesses. Michelle, who owns Divine Jewellery and Accessories on John Street in Porthcawl, said: “The awards raised the profile of our business and it gave me, my staff and our customers a feel-good factor.
“Because it was a public vote, it was nice to know that the nominations came from our customers.
“We would definitely recommend that other businesses enter the awards. It’s a way for people to show their appreciation of the shops we have.”
Entrants in the awards are initially shortlisted by a panel of judges into three finalists for each of the categories, before the winners are chosen in a public vote by local residents.
Lee Jukes, Bridge FM Breakfast DJ, said the awards were a way of getting local residents to support their local shops and high streets.
He added: “This event highlights to local residents that they need to get out and support their shops. It gives businesses a real boost and makes owners feel appreciated.
“It was really good to host the awards last year; it’s something that hopefully will keep growing every year.
“We live in an area that’s quite disjointed, with our three major town centres of Bridgend, Porthcawl and Maesteg being spread apart, and this kind of event pulls everyone closer together.”
The Leader Cllr Mel Nott OBE added: “The Bridgend Retail Awards are a great way of celebrating the success of local traders, as well as helping to raise the profile of retail in Bridgend County Borough.
“As well as reiterating our ongoing support for the county borough’s retailers, the awards highlight excellence and expertise across a range of retail sectors, providing an opportunity for businesses to learn, develop and evolve.
“We are lucky to have some fantastic businesses here in the county borough, so I’m sure the quality of entries is going to be extremely high. With many different categories up for grabs, I hope local traders use this opportunity and can enjoy the prestige of picking up an award.”
The closing date for applications is Sunday 19 October 2014.