The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has launched the Community Heroes Award 2009. Now in its fourth year, the award recognises retailers who

put significant energy, commitment and effort into working for the benefit of their local community.

According to the ACS, entries for the awards are encouraged from retailers who can demonstrate that they and their staff have achieved something that has made a real and tangible difference to their community environment.

This year, the awards are set on exceeding the high standards set during previous years. The ACS says it is keen to hear from retailers "of all sizes who go the extra mile and create sustainable relationships and activities that set them apart as community leaders".

Examples of this might be:

• Providing services for vulnerable members of the community.


• Organising events that boost relationships locally between residents and local amenities.

• Lobbying the local MP and councillors.

• Inviting feedback from the local community and taking action as a result of that.


• Forging relationships with the local authorities.

The award will be supported by P&G. From the entries received, three finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry experts. Once shortlisted, the winner will be decided in an online vote by visitors to the ACS website, where there will be a page dedicated to each of the finalists explaining why they deserve the vote.

ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman said; “The standard of entries last year was extremely high, which goes to show that retailers are investing in their local communities and making themselves different to their larger competitors. This year we want to see entries from retailers who go that bit further to support their community; we know they are out there and we are looking forward to hearing about them.”

The winner will get £1,000. For an entry form visit, or call 01252 515001.



Meanwhile, this week the ACS said it welcomed the government’s decision to withdraw legislation which would have seen an £80 fine issued to shop staff who sold tobacco to anyone under 18.

The ACS said the £80 on-the-spot-fine for underage tobacco sales was due to come into force on January 26th, despite there being no communication or consultation with the retail trade.

The ACS and the British Retail Consortium jointly wrote to the ministers responsible, explaining that the new offence would significantly alter enforcement activity – and the need for a delay. The Government has indicated that they will now consult with the trade before deciding whether to continue with the plans.

Lowman said: “We welcome the fact that government has taken the decision to withdraw the legislation and will now take time to consult widely on the proposal. It is vitally important that we fully understand the implication for enforcement of the introduction of new penalties.

“We look forward to playing a full part in consultation on this measure.”