The essential role played by Bath's independent shops
With less than a month to go until the 2012 Bath Business Awards, sponsors of the event are emphasising the importance of smaller enterprises in the city.
This year the Bath Business Improvement District is sponsoring the Retailer of the Year category, while rail firm First Great Western is putting its support behind the Small Business of the Year award.
Andrew Cooper, BID manager, said the number of independent shops which Bath offered visitors was part of the city's appeal and central to its economy.
He said: "Bath has a diverse mix of retailers, with a fine array of independent shops, giving the city a real point of difference and appeal to shoppers both locally and from further afield.
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"We want to promote that fact, and the Bath Business Awards is a great platform that enables us to do just that.
"We are always keen to highlight the fantastic work that our city's retailers do, so sponsoring the Retailer of the Year category at the Bath Business Awards was something we were very keen to get involved with."
The BID, which is funded by 620 city centre businesses and a number of voluntary and in-kind contributions, is now in its second year.
Since its launch in April 2011 the initiative has focused on promoting and managing Bath.
Steve Tyler, general manager of First Great Western, said the company saw itself as an intrinsic part of the Bath community and its economy and that was why it was supporting this year's business awards, run by The Bath Chronicle.
First Great Western operates 9,079 services every week, calling at 276 stations including Bath Spa, providing vital transport links between the city and destinations such as London and Bristol.
He said: "We work with local MPs, local authorities and passenger groups to deliver for our customers. We see ourselves as part of the community we serve and we want to be able to help communities prosper. That is why we sponsor the highly regarded Bath Business Awards.
"They are a fantastic way to celebrate those who work at the heart of the community, and we are delighted to play our part in those celebrations.
"We would like to take the opportunity now to congratulate all of those nominated for an award and to wish them good luck as overall winners are decided."
There are ten awards up for grabs, with an awards ceremony at Bath Racecourse on September 27. The deadline for entries has now closed.
For more information on this year's awards, visit www.thisisbath.co.uk/ businessawards.