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Do you own or do you shop at a locally-owned business that has gone out of their way to support their community? If so, you need to check out Independent We Stand.

Independent We Stand - Indie LogoIt’s that time of year where nominations are happening across the country. IWS is looking to recognize and reward the best locally owned business in the country with the Independent We Stand, Independent Business of the Year Award, “The Indie.”

Back in 2011, Howard Brothers was nominated and won the first “Indie.” We’ve been a big believer in the #buylocal movement since before Independent We Stand started doing these awards.

There are many benefits to a community when there are strong locally owned and independently run businesses there. Did You Know:

  • Small businesses accounted for 65% of all net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Small businesses employ 77 million Americans.
  • 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies.
  • Residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50% more in home values than their citywide markets.
  • Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.
  • If independent businesses regained their 1990 market shares, it would create 200,000 new small businesses, generate nearly $300 billion in revenues and employ more than 1.6 million American workers.
  • If just half the U.S. employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
  • For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a chain store.

Sources: Small Business Administration; Intuit Small Business Innovation Study; American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index; Civic Economics/American Booksellers Assoc., U.S. Dept. of Labor

So, now through November 13th, 2016, Nominations are open. Visit the IWS website to nominate your favorite Small Business.

If you know of such a company, or own or work for such a company, please take the time to nominate that business and help promote the importance of supporting locally owned small businesses.

The winner will receive a host of great prizes provided by Independent We Stand, its sponsors and partners.

  • STIHL Equipment Certificate: A certificate for $1000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL dealer in the US.
  • A New Website: The “Small Business Web Starter Package” from The Meridian Group that includes custom layout design and programming of homepage and 5 additional pages, location page with Google map integration and web traffic reporting. Value $5,000.
  • 3 Days/Two Night stay at an independent beach resort hotel in Virginia Beach, a tour of the STIHL plant and museum and a gourmet dinner with the Independent We Stand team. Value $1,000.
  • Special plaque awarded to the winner to proudly display in their business.
  • Public Relations and Social Recognition.
  • Each Quarter and Semifinalist will receive a Premium Membership from Independent We Stand.iws_0430_indie_award_sept16_slide_1_revised