Judges are currently working their way through the 240 entries received from a wide cross section of businesses in the city, all hoping to make it to the finals.
Entries have been received from a range of local independent traders, from butchers and bakers to florists and dry cleaners, and gyms and photography studios to hotels, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.
The awards are being led by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) and City of Wolverhampton Council.
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Roger Lawrence, said: "The independent retail sector in Wolverhampton is really strong. These businesses are very important to us, they work incredibly hard and contribute a huge amount to the local economy. These awards aim to give them the recognition they deserve."
John Henn, Chair of Wolverhampton BID, said: "A city is judged by - amongst other things - its independent businesses. In its second year the WIRE Awards will be looking to continue to uncover our city centre's diverse variety of stores - not found anywhere else in the country."
Finalists will be announced in June with the winners to be unveiled at a special awards ceremony on Tuesday 17 July, 2018, at the city's stylish WV1 bar and restaurant, at Molineux Stadium.
Guests at the event will be in for a great night, with Signal 107's evening show presenter Elliot Holman and Midlands icon and Black Country comedy star Doreen Tipton, amongst the entertainment. Tickets are available to purchase at Type=links;Linkid=8071;Title=Wire Awards 2018;Target=_blank;.
Shortlisted businesses will also have the chance to win an additional honour, as they will be automatically entered into a public vote for the 'Signal 107 People's Favourite Business'. The award comes with the fantastic prize of a month-long promotional campaign on Signal 107.
People who register a vote will also be in with a chance of winning one of a number of special prizes donated by local businesses. These include Sunday lunch for 2 in Sir Jack's Restaurant at Molineux Stadium; a table for 4 at the WV1 Comedy Club; four tickets to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre's pantomime Sleeping Beauty; a meal for 2 in Anju's restaurant, a Spa Experience and Afternoon Tea at Ramada Park Hall Hotel & Spa and a 6 month free Platinum Membership at WVActive.
The awards are being supported by a host of prestigious names including BCRS Business Loans, Casino 36, City of Wolverhampton College, Corporate Wolves, Mander Centre, Midland Metro Alliance, MRS Communications, NCP, Ramada Park Hall Hotel & Spa, Signal 107, Venue Catering Partner and Wolverhampton Racecourse.
The awards will also be supporting the city based charity Promise Dreams on the night - they have been invited to the event to raise much-needed funds.
There are 10 awards up for grabs: Independent of the Year; Excellence in Customer Service; Best Dressed Retail Store; Best Presented Premises; Excellence in Team Development; Hospitality and Leisure Business of the Year; Community Contributor of the Year; Employee of the Year; Independent Employer of the Year and the public vote award for the Signal 107 People's Favourite Business.
- released: Thursday 31 May, 2018