THIS is your chance to honour the centre of Inverness's most popular businesses.
The search is on to highlight those that are going the extra mile to make the city centre the place to be – for everyone living, working and visiting the area.
Spearheading an enterprising initiative to celebrate independent and national retailers, as well as charities, eateries and experts in hair and beauty is Inverness Business Improvement District (Bid) which today launches its first business awards, in conjunction with the Courier.
Customers and clients of the city centre's best businesses will make their choices in a range of categories.
The Inverness City Centre Business Awards is designed to recognises businesses for their tireless efforts – that may sometimes go unrewarded.
The Courier is helping to promote scheme with the public given having the chance to put forward the businesses that they want to win.
This nomination form allows the public to suggest those businesses that deserve a prize. Forms will be available elsewhere in the city centre for businesses to encourage people to get involved.
A similar annual awards in Moray has attracted thousands of votes and organisers are hoping for a big response.
Mike Smith, manager of Inverness Bid, said: "We want to take the opportunity to salute the great efforts of our city centre businesses in a way that shows how much they are appreciated.
"The objectives include promoting the excellence of city centre businesses and highlighting examples of good service."
Public recognition could act as a boost for winning businesses while providing a stamp of approval for their work.
Only businesses in the Inverness Bid area will be eligible for awards.
"This is an opportunity for the public to become engaged in delivering a message loud and clear – that the city centre has much to offer."
The public have until Friday, April 7, to make their choice in any – or all – of the seven categories, which cover:
• Retailer of the year – independent
• Retailer of the year – national
• Charity retailer
• Restaurants/cafes/takeaways – national
• Restaurants/cafes/takeaways – independent
• Hair and beauty
The nominations will be considered by a panel of city centre business experts and finalists for each section will be announced. The public will have a chance to vote for who they want to win.
The winner of each category will be announced in the Courier and the awards will be presented at the Inverness City Centre Business Awards which is set to be staged in Inverness Town House on Wednesday, May 17.
"We really hope the businesses and the people of Inverness get behind the awards," Mr Smith said.
The Courier's content editor Andy Dixon said the newspaper was delighted to be on board with the initiative.
"City centre businesses are key to Inverness," he said. "We hope that plenty of readers want to see their work recognised with an award."
The Courier office in Stadium Road is one of three places where boxes will be placed for completed voting forms. The others are the Victorian Market and Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Forms can also be posted to Inverness City Centre Business Awards, Inverness Courier, New Century House, Stadium Road, Inverness IV1 1FG.
The following streets are included in the competition area either in whole or in part: Academy Street, Academy Street Arcade, Bank Lane, Bank Street, Baron Taylor's Street, Bridge Street, Castle Street, Castle Wynd, Church Lane, Church Street, Drummond Street, Eastgate, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Falcon Square, Falconer Building, Fraser Street, High Street, Inglis Street, Lombard Street, Manse Place, Margaret Street, Market Brae, Market Close, Market Hall, Millburn Road, Post Office Avenue, Queensgate, Queensgate Arcade, Railway Terrace, Raining Stairs, Rose Street, School Lane, Station Square, Stephen's Street, Stephen's Brae, Strother's Lane, Union Street, Victorian Market.
* Click here to nominate your favourite Inverness city centre business. Forms must be submitted by Friday, April 7.