Close this search box.

Business Community gears up for Go Forth Stirling Awards

Stirling’s business community is getting ready to celebrate at the city’s annual awards for independent traders.

Finalists will gather at the Albert Halls next week to recognise businesses shortlisted for the 2024 Stirling Business Awards run by Go Forth Stirling BID.

More than 22,000 public votes were cast during the selection process and the winners of each of the 11 categories will be revealed at a black-tie ceremony on Wednesday March 20.

Port Street gift shop Clan Artisan has been nominated for the Retailer of the Year honour and owners Jen McEwan and Jen Tervit are looking forward to attending with their team.

The business, which originally began as an online outlet, sells personalised cards and bespoke gift hampers filled with Scottish products including chocolate, cheese and jam plus handmade gifts such as candles, wax melts and soap.

Jen McEwan said: “It’s amazing to be shortlisted and highlights just how far we’ve come since opening our physical shop nearly two years ago and adapting and expanding our range to reflect customers’ needs.

“The Times newspaper selected our hampers as one of the five best Christmas gifts made in Scotland which was fantastic and now, we’ve been voted one of the top three retailers in Stirling!

“It means a lot to us to be nominated by our customers and we’re looking forward to celebrating with the rest of Stirling’s wonderful business community next week.”

Also up for Retailer of the Year are Scotland’s largest vinyl record store Europa Music and last year’s winner Joanie’s Music whose owner Jim Rintoul attended the awards ceremony on crutches after breaking his ankle.

Mr Rintoul said: “I think the Stirling Business Awards are a great thing – not just for independent traders but for the city itself. At a time when more and more of the big chains are reducing their physical presence in smaller cities, local businesses are what keep people coming into town.

“It really is humbling for a small, specialist place like ours to be voted into the finals and I’m looking forward to the evening – last year was good fun and had a spirited, communal vibe. 

“Our win was very unexpected and a source of tremendous pride – by which I mean I was proud to have gotten on and off the stage whilst on crutches without falling on the steps. It’ll be nice to attend the ceremony without a broken ankle for the first time!”

This year’s finalists for Café/Coffee Shop of the Year include Janna’s Bakery whose owner Janna Koc praised the annual awards scheme.

She said: “It’s amazing to be involved in the awards for the second year in a row. I’ve made my way up here through constant hard work and dedication for what only seemed to be a hobby when I started as a small home business during lockdown.

“Now four years later, the business has grown substantially and I’ve got shops across Stirling city centre and lots of regular, loyal customers. This kind of dedication applies to many local businesses as most of them fight their way through to become recognised and loved. 

“So, I think it’s lovely to dedicate a wee night, a ceremony and the whole voting process to ensure everyone is recognised for their hard work. And it doesn’t really matter who wins because everybody has put so much effort into what they do and that’s what is most important.”

The awards ceremony will be hosted by Central FM and a limited number of tickets are still available via Eventbrite –

Danielle McRorie-Smith is Project Director of Go Forth Stirling which launched the awards to reward the city’s independent business owners.

She said: “Our awards are almost here and we’ve got a great night planned for everyone. We’re excited to see the winners revealed and are ready for an exceptional evening celebrating Stirling’s remarkable business owners and unique independent scene.”

A total of 22,464 votes were cast for a longlist of nominated businesses with Transition Stirling, Stirling Photography Festival, Stirling Community Enterprise, Creative Stirling, Stirling Open Streets Festival and The Fairy Tale Trail making the final for the Outstanding Contribution to the City award.

Nepalese and Indian restaurant Mint Leaf is a finalist for Restaurant of the Year along with Fletcher’s and Brea while Meraki, Slanj A Va and Molly Malones have reached the final for Pub/Bar of the Year.

Finalists for Café/Coffee Shop of the Year are The Book Nook, Janna’s Bakery and Victoria’s Coffee Shop and competing for Hair & Beauty Business of the Year are Frances Hunter Hairdressing, Allure Style Studio and FrownDocs Skincare Clinic.

In the Retailer of the Year category, the finalists are Europa Music, Joanie’s Music and Clan Artisan with Stirling Distillery, Game of Throwing and the Smith Art Gallery and Museum shortlisted for Visitor Attraction of the Year.

The finalists for Charity of the Year are Safebase, Start Up Stirling and charity shop Something Old Something New.

Meanwhile, Stirling Podiatry, Allan Park Dental Practice and D.S. MacDonald Watchmaker & Jeweller are in line for the Service-led Business of the Year honour.

Contenders for the Business Support Services of the Year award are Codebase Stirling, surveyors Graham + Sibbald and accountants Dickson Middleton.

The final category is New Business of the Year with restaurant An Darna, hair salon Simpson & Co and estate agents Golden Tree Estates vying for the honour.

Award sponsors include the Thistles as headline sponsors and sponsors for the Charity of the Year Award, the Fubar nightclub and STEP Scotland who are sponsoring the Business Support Services of the Year Award.

Gary Turnbull, Centre Director at Thistles, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Stirling Business Awards again and, in particular, the Charity of the Year category – something that is close to our hearts here at the centre with our ongoing community charitable outreach programme. 

“I would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted businesses, events like these showcase the talent in our region and make us proud to be a voice for Stirling.”

STEP Managing Director David Miller said: “At STEP, we strongly believe in supporting and empowering local businesses to thrive. We work closely with the BID team to ensure businesses in the city centre have the support they need. 

“We are delighted to sponsor the Business Support Services category and the annual awards are a great opportunity to celebrate excellence and innovation – highlighting the remarkable achievements within our city centre.”

The Stirling Business Awards 2024 showcase the entrepreneurial business owners and teams behind Stirling’s flourishing independent community.

Go Forth Stirling is the city’s BID (Business Improvement District) representing more than 600 business owners with a key objective of increasing visitors to the city and devising initiatives to help make it a more welcoming destination for businesses and shoppers. 

For more information, visit