The pub category is a new one for the awards, which pub businesses with fewer than 250 employees (small and medium enterprises) can enter for free.
The competition is open to all businesses nationally that commenced business before January 2019.
Director of the awards Damian Cummins said: “The Pub of the Year is brand new category in the SME National Business Awards and is recognition that the UK is home to an amazing array of high-quality customer service driven pubs.
“It is an opportunity for not only the UK’s best to ensure they are recognised on a national stage but for them to get their customers behind them and get them to vote for their favourite place to eat and drink.”
The Griffins Head in Mears Ashby, Northamptonshire, which was reopened by catering entrepreneur Tom Hewes, is one of the pubs to be nominated already.
Griffins Head head of operation Sophie Smith said: “We are delighted and honoured to be nominated for this very special award.
“Led by Tom, we are a pub that takes great pride in serving the local community and providing high-quality food and drink to all those that visit us.
“We have an extensive wine list, six real ales and over 50 gins available. Coupled with our investment in a globally renowned Josper Charcoal Grill, and our decision to use and support local suppliers, our offering is very special and it is great to be recognised for this.
“Our belief is that your food and beverage experience should be one to remember. This is achieved by care and attention in the planning through to the delivery. Quality service and produced is at the heart of all of our projects.”
Loyal customers can vote for their favourite local pub by nominating it online.
Nominated pubs then need to fill out an application form – which is factored into the winning pick alongside the number of public votes.
The number of covers at each site will be taken into account so that smaller pubs have an equal opportunity.