The hunt is underway to find out who should represent Buntingford in a national competition championing independent businesses.

The competition is open to all independently-owned businesses, from butchers and bakers to family-run restaurants, hairdressers, gift shops and hardware stores.

Businesses across Buntingford can nominate themselves online and members of the public will then be able to vote for their favourite independent trader via Facebook.

The business with the most likes and shares will go forward to represent the town in the national final, going head-to-head with some of the best-loved firms in the UK.

Toby Archer from The Cheese Plate said: “We have a lot to be proud of in our town and this is a wonderful chance for people to have their say on what they love most about the high street.

“We are delighted to be taking part in this national competition and it would be fantastic to see a Buntingford business named ‘top of the shops’ across the country.”

The competition will be held throughout July, with the national winner to be unveiled later this year.

Organiser of Independent of the Year, retail expert Corin Birchall, said: “Independent businesses are the life and soul of our high street, giving a sense of character to the area and helping to ensure money is kept within the local economy.

“We want this competition to stimulate debate in the area and get people talking about their town and the shops and businesses they love. It’s a chance to champion what we have and showcase all that’s great about the modern British high street.”

To take part in the competition, businesses can nominate themselves by visiting