Belhaven Bikes – Finalist in the UK’s Best Small Shop Competition!

Dunbar Trades Association are delighted to hear that our member Belhaven Bikes has been shortlisted for this great acheivement.

The Best Small Shop Competition is run by the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group and administered by the Independent Retailers Confederation.

Applicants were required to present why they should be named the Best Small Shop concentrating on Innovation, Community Engagement and Entrepreneurial Activities.

Belhaven Bikes submission focused on their position as the local bike shop, located in the heart of their community with the community close to their heart, which serves their home town and beyond.

They demonstrated what their small, environmentally positive, family business offers in terms of flexibility, personal service, local contribution and sustainability.

This was shown through examples of innovation including the offer of free bike hire coinciding with national and local events, such as the John Muir Festival, entrepreneurial activity which included the introduction of new products, skateboards and scooters to their product range and the recent addition of offering customers cycle finance, which starts from 0%.

Belhaven Bikes also has a proactive and positive connection with their community and is proud to support amongst others: the local schools with free, bike safety checks in preparation for Bikeability lessons and events such as The Big Pedal, working with theSPACE skatepark in North Berwick organising events and assisting with mechanical back-up at Berwick Wheelers and Tweed Tri cycle events.

A recent online review of Belhaven Bikes reports:

“I have known Colin at Belhaven Bikes for a number of years now. I have bought eight bikes from him plus equipment etc for business use, during this time. He has serviced them and looked after them when required, always to a very high standard. He is approachable, obviously knows his way around a bike! His shop is not just a shop, it’s a place were the local residents pop in for a chat and check out his stock at the same time. He is very active and supportive of the local community and I would go nowhere else to either buy a bike or have it serviced.”

The Best Small Shops Judging Panel commented: "We were impressed and delighted by both the number and calibre of the submissions from retailers for the Award. We were humbled by their energy, impressed by their commitment and in awe of the extent to which the best are embedded in their communities. There is no doubt that independent retail is in the hands of creative, innovative, business-savvy individuals who are committed to making their local high street a better place.”

Colin Cairns Ford, of Belhaven Bikes, commented: “We are very proud and absolutely delighted to be a finalist in the UK’s Best Small Shop competition! Many thanks to all our customers, whose support we value so much.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Small Shops’ Group said: “Small shops really are the backbone of Britain, providing essential services for local people. There are many great qualities that small shops bring to our high streets. The innovation that small shops bring is really inspiring and is a key part of their ability to compete. Smaller retailers are often hugely influential in their local areas and provide the anchors for communities up and down the country. Small retailers have a connection with their customers that is much more personal and valuable than big chain shops, and I know many people really value this connection.  We should also celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that is so typical of small shops in the UK. It takes courage and resilience to go into retail, and I think it is important that politicians recognise and reward this.”

The 20 finalists in the competition, will attend a reception held at the House of Commons in February.

The APPSSG was set up by a cross party group of MPs to raise awareness among Parliamentarians of a broad range of issues of concern to small shopkeepers.

The IRC brings together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector and represents c.100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK with retailers from a variety of sectors such as Booksellers, Entertainment retailers to Newsagents and Cycle Traders.

Why not visit Belhaven Bikes website and see what great services they offer