The first round of nominations runs until 5pm on May 20, and businesses with the most nominations from each category, will go through to the finals between May 30 and June 15.
To vote for Heygates bookshop or another favourite local business, visit sussex.muddystilettos.co.uk.
Owner Jason Passingham said the nomination came out of nowhere, and loves the idea that one of his customers went out of their way to show their support.
“It came totally out of the blue. Muddy Stilettos emailed me to say someone had nominated me,” he said.
“There are so many awards out there where they ask you to put yourself forward, but when someone goes to the effort of nominating you and you’ve got no idea who it is, it’s just really nice.”
The nomination comes after a big, important year for Heygates Bookshop. They moved sites less than a year ago, and, combined with the lingering effects of Covid-19 on businesses, this nomination could be just the boost the independent shop needs.
“We’re still going through the whole transition thing where people are getting used to the fact you’ve moved. You’ve still got to cope with the upheaval. It’s just been one of those years where cost has outweighed result and you just think ‘oh my god, was it worth the effort?’ But when someone does that, you think ‘yes it was.’”
Mr Passingham hasn’t put too much thought into the possibility of actually winning the award, but said the nomination itself has been enough to give him a real confidence boost.
“I know it sounds a bit silly, but it almost says I’m doing something right. And, at the end of the day, it could help bring people to Bognor, because maybe some people don’t know there’s a second hand bookshop here.”