Q: How does Best of the Best 2019 work?

Best of the Best is a readers’ choice awards contest conducted by The Frederick News-Post in Frederick County, Maryland. It includes a nomination round (to make sure we have relevant businesses and organizations) and two voting rounds.

  • Nomination Round, July 14-20. In the Nomination Round, readers add the names of their favorite businesses or organizations to the contest. Nomination is open to anyone at FrederickNewsPost.com/GoTo/Nominate.
  • Voting – Round 1, August 1-7. After the nominations are in, we’ll open voting Aug. 1 at FrederickNewsPost.com/GoTo/VoteBest. This round narrows down the list of nominees to the top five vote-getters, who will go on to the final round. You may vote once per day in each category. Plus, during this round, enter for a chance to win one of two $100 VISA gift cards.
  • Voting – Round 2, September 6-12. In the second and final voting round, readers pick a winner and two finalists from the top five in each category. You’ll have seven days to vote in the final round at FrederickNewsPost.com/GoTo/VoteBest. You may enter for a chance to win one of two $100 VISA gift cards during this round, as well.

Winners and runners-up will be announced on or about Oct. 11 in The Frederick News-Post and online at FrederickNewsPost.com/BOB.

Q: I nominated my business, but I don’t see it showing up on the website. Why is that?

If you’re looking at the site during the nomination period (which ends Saturday, July 20, at 11:59 p.m.) and don’t see a business you nominated, rest assured we received the submission.

In order for a nomination to show up on the site, we have to approve it manually. Because we’ve received thousands (upon thousands!) of nominations, it has been difficult for us to get to all of them during the nomination period. We’re looking for a better way to do this next year!

The good news is your business only has to be nominated once to make it to the first round of voting, assuming it met the guidelines. And if it did meet the guidelines, it does not matter if it showed up on the site during the nomination period.

Q: What guidelines do we use to determine whether a nominated business qualifies for the first voting round?

After the nomination period closes and before voting opens, our Best of the Best Team does its best to vet all nominees.

Here are the guidelines we use, with exceptions as noted below:

  1. Unless the category is labeled "Regional," the nominee must operate in Frederick County, Maryland. If the category is labeled “Regional,” the category is open to nominees from Frederick and nearby counties. See below for specific limitations.
  2. Most categories are restricted to local businesses and organizations, not national chains or franchises. Some categories, noted below, are open to national or regional businesses. Small regional groups, at our discretion, may be considered local businesses.
  3. We reserve the right to disqualify a business or organization from a category that does not represent a significant focus of its activities.
  4. Nominees must, in most categories, be open to the general public. (That is, no membership organizations.) An exception is made for golf courses.
  5. Application of our criteria is not an exact science. The Best of the Best Team uses its best judgment; if you think we’ve made an error, email BOB@newspost.com.

Category exceptions and special notes:

  • Auto – Chains and national companies are eligible in all categories.
  • Body & Soul – Local businesses only, expect in the Health and Fitness category, where all companies are eligible including chains and franchises. Also: Chiropractors are not eligible in the holistic category.
  • Destinations – Local businesses only, expect in the Hotels category, where all companies are eligible including chains and franchises. The Small-Town Experience category has been renamed Small Town, and only towns in Frederick County are eligible. 
  • Food – Local businesses only, except in these categories, where all companies are eligible: Chicken Wings, French Fries, Fried Chicken, Pizza.
  • Health – In categories where we asked for practices, we tried to exclude individual practitioners, unless they operate solo practices named after themselves. Other notes: The cosmetic surgery practice category excludes cosmetic dental practices.
  • Home – Local businesses only, except in these categories, where all chains are eligible: Home Builders, Home Décor, Tree Service.
  • Kids & Education – Local businesses only, except in: the Colleges category, where regional schools in counties adjacent to Frederick County are eligible and University of Maryland schools are presented by campus; the Family Entertainment and Summer Camps categories, where regional nominees are eligible; the Tutoring category, where all chains are eligible. The Best School category has been removed.
  • People – The Best Photographer category was moved from People to Services. The Best Teacher category has been removed.
  • Services – Local businesses only, except in these categories where regional nominees are eligible: Bank, Credit Union, Insurance Agency. In the Financial Planning category, all chains are eligible.
  • Spirits – The Wineries category is open to wineries in counties adjacent to Frederick County. 

We reserve the right to change these guidelines. Check back on this for current guidelines.

Q: My business was nominated, and I saw it on the website during the nomination period, but it is not showing up in the voting round. Why?

See the guidelines answer above. After nominations close and before voting opens, our team does its best to vet all nominees. While your business may have appeared during the nomination period, our team may have determined it was ineligible for the voting round.

Q: I think my business should have made it to Voting Round 1. How do I register a complaint?

Email us at BOB@newspost.com within 24 hours after the first voting period opens August 1. You must identify the category and tell us why you think your business should have been included.

Like most humans, we sometimes make mistakes, and if we have, we’ll add your business within moments of our decision.

Q: How are the winners selected?

Winners are those that received the most votes in their category. Runners-up are those that received the second- and third-most votes in their category.

If there is a tie, we will announce both winners and/or runners up.