For more than 20 years, Loudoun County residents have looked forward to the Best of Loudoun contest to support their favorite local businesses, organizations, people and attractions.

Best of Loudoun has always been about celebrating and supporting great local institutions by raising their profile and helping them gain new fans.

With the resurgence of COVID in our communities, the 2022 contest is perhaps more important than ever, giving local businesses a way to reach out to new and existing customers to ask for their support.

Today, the nomination round opens at LoudounTimes.com/best. We’ve already included many of last year’s top contenders. Who did we miss? Be sure to nominate your favorites in any or all categories by Tuesday.

We’ll open voting Feb. 25 so you can vote to create the Top 5 in all categories, and again in April for you to determine the winner and two finalists in each.

The Best of Loudoun contest is designed to provide maximum visibility for local businesses. Several features of the contest make it an especially powerful spotlight for the county’s best:

· We vet nominees and we guard against fraudulent voting. Both of these efforts take time and work, but they make for a better contest.

· Our contest includes a “primary” voting round. In some categories, we will start out with more than a hundred nominees. To make sure the winners reflect the opinion of the broader community, our contest starts with a first round to whittle the field down to a manageable number, like an election primary.

· We encourage daily voting, with the public allowed to vote once per day per category. Daily voting does two things for local businesses. It encourages people to engage with the contest over a period of several days, which raises the visibility of everyone nominated. It also rewards passion! Some larger businesses and organizations naturally have more name recognition, and will always get a lot of votes, without even trying very hard. But name recognition is only part of being the best. Having passionate supporters is another dimension of being the best. In the Best of Loudoun, the businesses that reach out to their customers and encourage daily voting have a chance to level the playing field.

Learn more about how we run the contest here: loudountimes.com/best/about.

Help us show local businesses some love during these trying times by making sure to nominate your favorites and vote for them in Best of Loudoun.

Geordie Wilson

Publisher

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