And the winners are…
After weeks of voting, today we are announcing the winners of the 2022 Best of the Valley Readers’ Choice Contest. A bonus section listing the winners is in this week’s paper.
This is the second year we have done the contest and we continue to be amazed at the response from the community. Last year we received a total of 754 nominations and 18,306 votes. We were blown away by the response.
This year, we had 1,081nominations and 29,625 votes. Nominations were accepted for a three-week period in May and voting occurred for three and a half weeks from July into August. People were able to vote for their favorites once every 24 hours. And it looks like many did just that, working hard to make sure their favorites won their respective categories.
In many ways, the contest reaffirmed several things we have long known to be true.
Our community has a rich and vibrant small business and professional base. It is apparent by the nominations and votes that we have businesses that have gained and kept a loyal following of customers and clients.
Our readers are connected to their community. We know this by their interest and support of our newspaper, website and social media page. Each week, in print and online, we have the largest single audience of any local media. Over 13,800 connect with us each and every week.
We are honored to have won best local website this year. Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for us.
The contest is a lot of fun for readers and businesses alike. I think, on some level, we all want to know where we rank. Lists and standings have a fascination with many people and the Readers’ Choice contest provides an easy-to-use platform for businesses and their supporters to let their choices be known.
We will continue to build on the Readers’ Choice contest in the coming years, adding categories where it makes sense. The company we use to administer the contest has many other contests and quizzes. We are looking at their offerings to determine what might be appropriate in our market.
The window clings and certificates, suitable for framing, will be delivered to winners and finalists in the coming weeks. I am happy to see many from last year displayed.
As we continue to recover from the effects of the COVID pandemic and lockdowns and a general uneasiness about getting back to whatever passes for normal, I think we need to take the next logical steps when it comes to local businesses and services.
In my thinking, this means we simply must all exercise our personal responsibility and put our money where our mouths are in the coming months. It is no longer enough to share something on social media and bask in the glow of our superiority. Actions, not words, are needed to keep our businesses, and by extension our communities, open and thriving.
Followers and likes may be important to many, but they won’t pay the bills.
Thanks to all who helped make the Best Of a success. Let’s take the next step and make these businesses the most successful.
As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.
Thanks for reading. I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.