Hearts of Holbeach Awards 2020 - public voting now open
The search is now on to find the businesses, charity workers, community and sports groups that have excelled in the Holbeach area this year.
Voting has started to decide the winners of the first ever Hearts of Holbeach Awards, specially created to recognise how shops, hairdressers, gyms and other businesses have adapted to the challenges poses by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fundraisers, caterers, COVID-19 volunteers and a foodbank are also among the nominees across ten categories covering everything from window displays and customer service to innovation and a "Community Champion".
Scores of nominations came in for deserving business owners and volunteers in Holbeach and the surrounding villages after the awards, created by Holbeach district councillor Tracey Carter, were officially launched four weeks ago.
An online public vote will decide who wins each of the ten categories to be decided, with three or four finalists in each category, including the one for overall business of the year.
Coun Carter said: "I was thrilled by the number and quality of nominations received, with so many businesses and groups being so highly thought of locally, and rightfully so.
"It was also great to see that so many people made the effort to nominate them, saying thank you and well done to them.
"Some of the finalists are having a good year, but others are having a really tough year.
"But they are all important to us and having read the nominations, the things that were said by people were so nice and really passionate."
All the nominations were judged and whittled down by a three-person panel of Coun Carter, events management business owner Helen Rowe and Holbeach county councillor Nick Worth.
He said: "At a time when the high street and local businesses are coming under extreme pressure, it is nice to be able to appreciate and say 'Thank You' to our many independent businesses who make up, and are a important part of, our local community.
"The Hearts of Holbeach Awards is a great initiative by Coun Carter and one which I fully support.
"I would encourage all of our local community to use local businesses and local shops wherever possible because they need your support at this critical time."
The finalists are: Most Innovative/Adaptable Business - Holbeach Wholefoods, Shearers Butchers, Tonwood Home Hardware;
Best Customer Service (Business): Cards & More, Instyle Hair Design, Pawjes Dog Grooming;
Community Champion: Chosen Charity Shop, Harold Payne (Anglia Motel, Fleet), Mandy Littlejohn, The Crown Hotel, Holbeach;
Best Food Premises: Caffe Aurora, Krua Thai Restaurant, Milkshake Madness;
Best Customer Service (Individual): Dave Lowe (Tesco Superstore), Jade (The Horse and Groom), Lucy Adams (Little Village Salon), Lucy Spinks (Fifth Avenue);
Best Service Industry Business: The Barber Shoppe, Holcombe Health, Plush Hair and Beauty, South Lincs Vet Group;
Best Window Display: Cards & More, The Flower Basket, Old Mill Clotheshanger Boutique;
Community Group: Holbeach Community Larder and Cafe, Fleet Self-Isolation Group, Here4U;
Sports Group: Holbeach United Community Sports Academy, Mariola Pisa Health and Fitness, Royals Gym;
Overall Business of the Year: Fabrie Fae, Royals Gym, Shearers Butchers, The Crown Hotel.
Each of the award categories have been sponsored by businesses in the Holbeach area, including headline sponsor Taylors Bulbs.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach, of the family-run business, said: "I was very pleased and impressed by all the finalists in the race for the awards.
"There was a good balance of different types of businesses and community group, with quite a diversity for people to choose from.
"The commercial life of all communities has been affected by COVID-19 this year and they've had to show a certain amount of agility, resilience and determination to maintain the service they provide for people.
"Theses awards are recognition from the people of Holbeach and the surrounding areas who depend upon these businesses and service."
For a list of finalists and details on how to vote before the deadline of Friday, December 11, visit www.subscribepage.com/voting or tcarter539960.typeform.com/to/j5lkKqVr
Alternatively, you can visit the Holbeach Local page on Facebook.