Indie Award nominations now being accepted

The national small business movement Independent We Stand is thinking outside the “big-box” and breaking the “chains” to ask consumers in towns across the country about their favorite independently owned businesses. The movement is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Independent We Stand Small Business of the Year Award.

Nominating a local business for this year’s “Indie” is as simple as providing a reason that an independent business (no chain stores allowed) makes a difference in the local community or why its services deserve recognition. Nominations will be accepted at until Nov. 16, 2014.

“Keeping money local strengthens our communities — independently owned businesses re-invest in their local economies by way of taxes and payrolls at a much higher rate than big-box stores,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “The Indie Award is a recognition that is open to all businesses from hardware stores to cupcake shops, and we look to celebrate the unique ways these businesses inspire their communities.”

The Indie winner will receive prizes with a combined value of more than $10,000, including:

* $5,000 grand prize

* $1,000 Stihl equipment certificate. Stihl products are sold exclusively through local dealers, and support more than 8,000 Stihl dealers in communities nationwide.

* “Small Business Web Starter Package” from independent web design firm Launch Interactive that includes custom website layout design and programming with a location page with Google map integration and web traffic reporting

* Three-day/two-night stay at an independent resort hotel in Virginia Beach, Va., that includes a tour of the Stihl Inc. headquarters and dinner with the Independent We Stand team

* Plaque to display at winner’s business

* Public relations and social media recognition

Semifinalists for the prize are selected from all nominations and voting for semi-finalists begins Nov. 24 at The winner of the “Indie” will be announced Dec. 17.

Last year’s winner, Trio Hardware & Paint, is a family-owned store that has been in business for more than 50 years. Members of its local Long Island community even rallied to keep a big-box home retailer from coming to their town to ensure Trio could continue to survive and thrive.

For more information on the “Indie” or to nominate a business, visit


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