If you think you’ve got what it takes to win the prestigious Forecourt Trader of the Year award then now’s the time to prove it. If your site is worthy of such an accolade then what are you waiting for? Get your pens and cameras out now and start filling in the forms and taking the pictures that will put you in the running for this top prize. The awards are now in their 13th year, and the list of winners reads like a who’s who of the industry. These are the people who put their heart and soul into their businesses and there’s no reason why you can’t join them.

The Forecourt Trader Awards are dedicated to recognising and encouraging the hard work and skills of petrol retailers nationwide, highlighting those who display high standards of professionalism - if that sounds like you, enter today.

== Cash prize ==

To be chosen as Forecourt Trader of the Year is the highest accolade for any petrol retailer. It is recognition of entrepreneurial skill, imagination and dedication in running a successful business. Not only that, but there is a cash prize of £3,000 for the overall winner of Forecourt Trader of the Year.

== Rewards ==

All finalists are invited to the awards dinner as part of an all-expenses paid ’70s-themed night out at the London Hilton on Park Lane Hotel, on Thursday, September 24, 2009. It gives you the chance to mix with many people in the industry - retailers, oil company executives and suppliers - and, as many will testify, is a great night out.

== An opportunity to win ==

Whether you are an independent dealer with a large chain, or a small rural site; a franchisee in a main road location; or a manager on a company-owned site, there is a category for you. Groupings are by type of operation:

* Rural

* Neighbourhood

* Main route

We also identify sites by ownership status, to cover:

* Oil company/supermarket-owned and managed

* Oil company-owned/franchisee/ commission agent

* Independent dealer with up to nine sites

* Independent dealer with 10 sites or more

== Finalists ==

There will be four finalists in each category competing for the national title of:

* Best Rural Retailer

* Best Neighbourhood Retailer

* Best Main Route Retailer

And, regardless of ownership/operation status, there will also be one award for:

* Best Motorway Site

The Forecourt Trader of the Year will be chosen from these three category winners, as well as the winner of the Best Motorway Site award.

== Specialist categories ==

Retailers can also enter these specialist award categories, including a new award for Best Eco-friendly Outlet:

* Best Site with a Licence to Sell Alcohol

* Best Car Care & Lubricants Outlet

* Best Display of Chilled Food

* Best Confectionery Outlet

* Best Crisps & Snacks Outlet

* Best Customer Service

* Best Eco-friendly Outlet

* Best Food-to-Go Outlet

* Best Forecourt Facilities

* Best Hot Beverages Outlet

* Best Soft Drinks Outlet

* Best Tobacco Merchandising

* Best Use of Retail Technology

== How to enter ==

Call the Forecourt Trader Awards hotline - 01293 846587 - to register for an entry form or visit the awards website www.forecourttraderawards.co.uk to download one.

Carefully complete all parts of the application form and send it - together with those all-important photographs - to Helen Law, Forecourt Trader Awards 2009, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 9RT, to arrive by Friday May 29, 2009.

== Judging ==

The judging team is chaired by Forecourt Trader editor Merril Boulton, and includes the Forecourt Trader team, as well as our very own Shop Doctor. The first round of the judging process takes place at William Reed Business Media’s head office in Crawley. The entries are judged anonymously and the highest scorers are put forward for the on-the-road judging, but can be thrown out at any time if the site visit does not match up to the impression given in the photographs or the written entries.

== Winning tips ==

Watch out for tips on how to be a winner in next month’s issue - essential reading for those aiming for the top prize.

== Winning ==

Big thanks go to this year’s sponsors - without whom the awards would not be possible - particularly Palmer & Harvey, our principal sponsor. We would also like to welcome new sponsors RS Sales (Best Customer Service); Tokheim (Best Forecourt Facilities); and Wilcomatic supporting a new award - Best Eco-friendly Outlet.

* Coca-Cola Enterprises

* Convenience Distribution Group

* Country Choice

* Ginsters

* Imperial Tobacco

* Nestlé Rowntree

* RS Sales

* Simply Coffee

* Tokheim

* Torex Retail

* Walkers

* Wilcomatic


=== Past Award winners year ===

David Charman 1996

Robert Fraser 1997

Hugh Fraser 1998

Darren Lawrence 1999

Graham Kennedy 2000

John McCaffrey 2001

Steven Blackadder 2002

Jonathan & Rebecca James 2003

Peter & Pat Bellini 2004

Susie Hawkins 2005

Karl Brocklehurst 2006

Hugh & Robert Fraser 2007

Philip & Lesley Tout 2008