Favorite small businesses in America vie for Indie Award

Nearly 22,000 votes were cast for 315 nominees during the nominations phase of the 2015 Independent We Stand Independent Small Business of the Year Award. For the fifth year, the national small business movement has empowered Americans to honor the local businesses that make their communities unique. Three of the quarter-finalists are Stihl dealers: Carr Hardware, Mower Man Lawn Service and Mae Power Equipment.

Semifinalist voting began November 23 at IndieBizAward.com and runs through December 13. The winner of “The Indie” will be announced December 16.

The 2015 quarter-finalists in alphabetical order are:

* A. Dodson’s, an apparel, home décor and gift shop with locations in Suffolk, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va.

* Afterwords Books, a bookshop in Edwardsville, Ill.

* Allan’s Flowers & More, a florist in Prescott, Ariz.

* Armando’s Pizza of Salem, a pizza and sub shop in Salem, N.H.

* Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery, an art gallery in Carson City, Nev.

* Carr Hardware, a hardware supply and rental store with four locations in Mass.

* Coco’s Cottage, a specialty women’s clothing store in Jasper, Ga.

* Collage, a specialty boutique and gift shop in York, Pa.

* Continental Earthworks, a forestry and wildland fire mitigation company in Avon, Colo.

* Cross Eyed Owl Gift shop, selling home décor, gifts and more in Valatie, N.Y.

* From My Shelf Books & Gifts, a new and used bookshop in Wellsboro, Pa.

* Island Books, a bookstore in Mercer Island, Wash.

* License 2 Grill, an American restaurant offering American comfort food in Thornwood, N.Y.

* Life’s Memories and More, an arts & crafts supply store in Palmer, Mass.

* Mae Power Equipment, an outdoor power equipment dealer in Mission, Texas

* Metamorphisis Salon and Spa, a hair salon and spa in Virginia Beach, Va.

* Monkitree, a fine art and craft gallery in Gardiner, Maine

* Mower Man Lawn Service, a landscaping service in McKinney, Texas

* The Mower Shop, an outdoor power equipment shop, in Fort Smith, Ark.

* One-Eighty Consignment and Thrift, a consignment and thrift shop in Albion, Pa.

* Pop’s Biscotti and Chocolates, crafting handmade gourmet chocolates and mini biscotti in Wilbraham, Mass.

* Salon VivEsta, Inc., a hair and nail salon in Lansing, Mich.

* Scout & Morgan Books, a bookstore in Cambridge, Minn.

* Step by Step Dance Studio, a dance studio in Farmingdale, N.Y.

* Surviving Sisters Boutique, a clothing boutique in Hyde Park, N.Y.

The winner of the 2015 Indie Award will receive a prize package valued at $10,000, which includes:

* $5,000 grand prize

* $1,000 Stihl equipment certificate. Stihl products are sold exclusively through local, independent servicing dealers and support more than 9,000 Stihl dealers in communities nationwide.

* “Small Business Web Starter Package” from independent web design firm – The Meridian Group

* Three days/two nights stay at an independent beach resort in Virginia Beach, Va. (valued at $1,000)

* Plaque to display at winner’s business

* Public relations and social media recognition

* Quarter and Semifinalists will receive a Premium Membership from Independent We Stand

For more information on “The Indie” or to vote for your favorite small business, visit www.IndieBizAward.com.

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