ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Nominations are now under way for LocalShops1’s annual Best in Biz Awards, which take place Thursday, Aug. 7, at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The awards are part of LocalShops1’s sixth birthday bash.
“Every year we celebrate LocalShops1’s anniversary by honoring the businesses, artists and nonprofits that make Tampa Bay such an awesome community,” says Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 founder. “There are so many great businesses making a difference here and we love to help get them noticed.”
Nominations are being accepted through midnight Sunday, June 22, at LocalShops1.com/nominate. There will be one winner each in popular vote and judges’ vote for each of the following categories:
Best Established Business: Lasting power is what this one is all about. Despite the economic ups and downs, these are shops, restaurants and other businesses that have carried on and continue to make our neighborhoods happier and brighter!
Past winners: Bananas Music, Time Systems, Craftsman House Gallery, Three Birds Tavern, Domain Home Accessories, Being, Write One Creative Services
Best New Business: We are looking for businesses that launched in the past five years, and are already the talk of the town! Businesses that are innovative, creative and daring. Most of all, we’re looking for living proof that dedication pays off.
Past winners: Chart 411, The Ale & the Witch, T & Me Tea Co., The Peaceful Warrior Massage, Three Birds Tavern
Most Community-Minded Business: These business owners go above and beyond to help local charities and other local businesses. These are the ones who organize fundraisers, donate to silent auctions, help tech-challenged neighbors and give shoutouts to emerging entrepreneurs. Why? Because they care.
Past winners: Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market (twice), St. Pete Community Acupuncture, Illuminated Publishing (twice)
Best at Grassroots Marketing: There’s no huge advertising budget, but this business doesn’t need giant billboards to get the message out. Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, email marketing, cross-promotions, and good old-fashioned word of mouth bring in customers.
Past winners: Forbes Riley Studio, The Cupcake Spot, Gulfport Tuesday Market, Hartley Chiropractic Center, St. Pete Bagel, Intensity Academy
Finalists will be announced July 13 and online voting to determine the popular choice will take place July 13-27. A panel of judges will also determine their choice, based on the finalists’ answers in a questionnaire. There will be a popular choice and a judges’ vote winner in each category.
In addition, LocalShops1 is accepting suggestions for the Floppy Hat Award, which goes to a community leader who goes above and beyond to support small businesses and our Buy Local movement. Past winners have included St Petersburg Councilman Karl Nurse; and Susan Robertson, events director at The Birchwood, active on numerous boards and committees throughout the region.
To nominate a business go to LocalShops1.com/nominate
For information on the awards banquet, go to LocalShops1.com/Events
This year’s sponsors include Pia’s Trattoria, Moorman Photographics, Just Right Entertainment Services, I Love Downtown St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Museum of History. For sponsorship information, email Mo Venouziou at email@example.com
LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay. Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region’s most active voice for small businesses.