Frequently Asked Questions

There is a lot that goes into the Best of 209! Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions:

What is the Best of 209?

The Best of 209 is a celebration of the best our region has to offer when it comes to businesses and organizations that make the 209 area a great place to live!

How are Best of 209 winners determined?

You can nominate your favorites in dozens of categories through our online ballot. Write-in nominations are accepted from April 1 to April 31, 2024. Voting runs from May 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024.

The nominees who receive the most votes are this year’s Best of 209 winners!

How does the nomination period work?

From April 1 to April 30, readers will be able to write-in nominations for their favorite local businesses and organizations. If you do not see your business name in a category, that means you have not been nominated yet (or nominations for you have not yet been vetted). Voting will not be underway at this time; only new write-in nominations will be accepted!

To nominate, simply go to the category in which you'd like to nominate someone, scroll down to verify they're not already there (they could be!) and at the bottom of the category, you'll see this area:

Just enter your nominee there and click "Nominate!"

**Please note there is some lag time for nomination approval.**

Why isn’t my nomination on the ballot? IT’S BEEN DAYS!!!

Each write-in nomination has to be vetted by our team for accuracy (correct spelling, appropriate category, within the eligibility zone). Due to the massive amount of nominations coming in, it takes a lot of time to do that work. Rest assured, all nominations will be counted and tabulated by the end of the nomination phase on May 1 when voting begins!

Nominations will be disqualified if the nominee does not have a physical address in the 209 area code.

If you’d like to help us out with this process, please make sure your nominations are spelled correctly, the address is properly listed, they are appropriate for the category in which you’re nominating them, and they are within the eligible area. We really appreciate your assistance! 🙂

I have been trying to vote and it says I’m logged out and that you will send me an email to log in. But I have not received any emails!

Every email provider has different standards as to what they consider “spam”, and unfortunately these automated emails can be filtered, rejected, or greatly delayed by your email provider. We have found that Yahoo-based addresses are particularly susceptible to this.

If you are unable to login and receive such a message, please contact us directly at and we can send you a login link that will allow you access for the duration of the ballot.

My business address is listed incorrectly. Why is this and how do I change it?

When a nomination is made, location information is pulled automatically from Google. If your business’ Google My Business profile does not have your current address, the old information will appear on our ballot. Even if your Google My Business profile is current, in some cases the person nominating does not verify that the address listed when they nominate is correct.

If your business has recently moved and the ballot still shows the old address, make sure to update your Google My Business profile before requesting we change it on the ballot, or the change will not stick.

You can request contact information changes at

How many times can I nominate a business?

One nomination per category.

What if I missed the nomination window?

Once the voting begins, no more new nominations can be accepted. If you see your nominee is not yet on the ballot, make sure to nominate them before the window closes on April 31! All pending nominations received before April 31 will be tabulated and on the ballot before voting begins; there’s no need to re-nominate an eligible entrant if you have already done so.

Do businesses have to pay to get on the ballot?

Absolutely not! It is 100% free to participate. We do have sponsorship/advertising options to give your business more exposure during this high-traffic event, but purchasing advertising does not guarantee anything for the contest. If you are interested in advertising or becoming a featured entrant on the ballot, you can click here to request our media kit.

What if my business category is not on the ballot?

We’d love to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions for the ballot, including additions or modifications to our category list! This is your contest, after all! Please email those messages to Your request will be submitted to our ballot committee for consideration on this year’s ballot or a future ballot. Please make sure to specify you’re asking about the Best of 209 ballot.

Do advertisers automatically win?

No! The Best of 209 results are based on our reader voting. Some winners may be advertisers or later choose to be one, but being an advertiser does not guarantee a win.

We work hard to maintain the integrity of this contest because it means so much to our community. We do NOT sell votes! Any business/nominee that is flagged for fraudulent activity will be removed from the ballot for the remainder of the 2024 campaign. Cheating will not be tolerated! (and yes, we can tell.)

How can I promote my business to get nominations?

See our Best of 209 nominee toolkit with flyers, graphics and marketing tips to help you spread the word. Also, we’ve prepared a number of social media images you can use to ask for votes on your social media platforms!

Where is the “submit” button? How do I know my nominations counted?

There is no final “submit” button. Once you click the “NOMINATE” or “VOTE” button and enter your email address, your choice is recorded. No further action is needed.

I’m having trouble registering. What do I do?

When you start nominating in the first category of your choice, you will be asked to fill out the registration form. When you complete this step, you will be registered and you can continue casting your votes on the ballot.

If you have trouble with that process, we would suggest trying a different browser or device.

I don’t have time to fill out the whole ballot right now. Can I come back later and do more?

Sure! As long as you’ve already registered in that round and it’s before the deadline, you can pick up where you left off, as long as you do so during the voting period. When you return to the ballot on the same device, you should be automatically logged in and able to see your previous selections. If you aren’t logged in and you know that you’ve already registered in that round, click the “Already participated in this round…” link for further instructions.

Can I continue the process on another device?

Yes. When you return to the ballot on a different device, click the “Already entered?” link for further instructions.

Why do I have to make an account?

Our ballot software requires that users create an account to track their selections. This helps us guard against fraudulent voting and allows you to revisit your ballot before deadline to make changes and additional nominations. Don’t worry, there is no password needed, and we will not sell your data to any third party.

How do I find out who the winners are?

Winners will be announced in a special magazine in the Bulletin in August, 2024 and will be visible here on shortly thereafter.

An Excellent Advertising Opportunity!

As a nominee in the Best of 209, you are in a position to reach thousands of local residents during our biggest regional event of the year!

By sponsoring a group or category in this year’s ballot, your ad will appear at the top of your chosen categories, linked directly to your company’s website.