Indie retailers Greg and John lift Small Business Britain’s big award
You don’t need a cape to be a hero – you just need a trio of fabulous greeting card and gift stores as Maybugs co-owners Greg Rose and John Dale have proved by lifting the prestigious High Street Hero trophy at Small Business Britain’s Small Awards.
Having been shortlisted last month for their stores in Bexhill, Eastbourne and Hailsham, the pair were “gobsmacked” to collect the trophy on Thursday 18 May, from TV presenter Sue Perkins and Dan Welch, of awards sponsor TSB Business Banking.
Maybugs was among eight independent retailers from across the country picked as finalists for the black-tie ceremony at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham, for being active members of their communities and working to drive footfall both to their own and neighbouring businesses.
The other finalists were Drake Bookshop Stockton-On-Tees; Northern Card Gaming, Newtownards; People First Mobility, Skegness; Toast, Chelmsford; The East Street Deli, Wimborne, WJ French & Son, Southampton; and Wave Of Nostalgia, Keighley.
Greg told PG Buzz: “We’re just gobsmacked to have won the High Street Hero award – to be recognised as the best independent High Street business in the UK for all the community work we do is amazing.
“When we set up Maybugs six years ago, we could never dreamed of winning such an important accolade, and it drives us to grow Maybugs and build further on its success.”
Supported by the Federation Of Small Businesses (FSB) and organised by Small Business Britain, which also runs Small Business Saturday, the awards target the UK’s 5.8million-strong small business sector, focusing on firms often overlooked by other awards.
“We’ve always believed that we can only be successful if the towns in which we are in are successful too,” John added, “and we’ll continue to keep promoting all the independents local to our stores to benefit the towns as a whole.”
The Small Business Britain Award comes just seven days after Maybugs won the Best Retailer Initiative award at The Greats gift retailing awards for its Supporting Independents This Christmas campaign.
The couple started the business in 2018 in Hailsham’s Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, then expanded by taking over the former Laura Ashley building in Eastbourne in 2021 before adding Bexhill’s old British Bookshops premises last summer, and now employ 15 people.
They sponsor a number of local charities and give out hundreds of goody bags each year to local schools, charities and fundraisers, and they’re launching an artisan market at their Eastbourne store in the coming months to act as a free springboard for start-up businesses and local artists and crafters who want to get a step into retail.
Top: John (left) and Greg enjoying the Small Awards ceremony in Birmingham