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The Emerald Coast has a distinctive sense of place. This is clearly seen and felt in the local flair and infectious energy — from the bright facades of progressive businesses to the beaches lined with welcoming lounge chairs and the full tables at our favorite eateries.

Life along the Emerald Coast is further enhanced by businesses and professionals committed to delivering quality products and experiences, exemplary customer service, and inviting environments. When you think of the word “best,” you might recall the mouthwatering meal you bragged to out-of-towners about, the spot you look forward to all week for drinks on Friday night, the suit that was tailored to perfection or the comfort you received from a caring physician.

That is, you reflect on businesses that warrant recognition through the chance to win a coveted “Best of the Emerald Coast” award. Contribute to giving your favorite business what it deserves.

You can now review the full list of categories for our annual readers poll even earlier this year when it’s published in the April/May 2022 issue of Emerald Coast Magazine. 

2022 Best of Emerald Coast Rules

To preserve the integrity of the voting process, the following contest rules must be observed in order to cast a ballot and ensure it is included in the voting tabulation process:

  • Voting for 2022 Best of Emerald Coast honors will take place online or via print ballot found in the April/May 2022 issue of Emerald Coast Magazine.
  • All online and printed ballot votes will be combined for final tabulations.
  • Ballots must have votes marked in at least 10 categories to be counted.
  • All votes must be for locally owned Emerald Coast area businesses. Locally owned and operated companies are defined as the owner or managing partner living in the Emerald Coast area or within a 30-mile radius of the Emerald Coast.
  • No incentives, prizes, goods or services may be offered in exchange for votes. 
  • Ballots submitted via mail must be postmarked by April 25, 2022.
  • Ballots submitted online must be submitted by April 30, 2022, at 11:59 P.M.
  • Each vote must be submitted by one verified email address.
  • Obvious attempts at ballot stuffing or cheating will be disqualified.
  • A business can win the “Best” award in no more than two categories. If a business is the leading vote-getter in more than two categories, that business will win only the “Best” award for the two categories in which it received the most votes.
  • Any winning business must be in good standing with Rowland Publishing, Inc. and still in operation by the date of the results printed in the magazine to be promoted as a “Best” winner.
  • Once ballots are counted, all tabulations are final.

2022 Best of Emerald Coast FAQs

Each year, Emerald Coast Magazine celebrates over a hundred businesses throughout our community that have been singled out by our readers as the best of the best. We have always been transparent about this yearly survey and how it works, but for those who might be new to the process, here are the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about “Best of.”

How are Emerald Coast Magazine’s “Best Of” winners selected?

The readers of Emerald Coast Magazine choose the winners. 

Readers will be asked to visit EmeraldCoastMagazine.com/best-of-the-emerald-coast to complete the ballot by April 30, 2022, or fill out one print ballot on original Emerald Coast Magazine paper and postmarked by April 25, 2022.

Each ballot must have votes marked in at least 20 categories to be counted. Votes arriving after the deadline are not counted. Refer to the rules listed above.

Who counts the votes and decides the winner?

Emerald Coast Magazine contracts with a third party to count the votes and determine the winner.

Do you have to buy an ad in the magazine to win?

Absolutely not. Our winners include advertisers as well as non-advertisers.

Can someone “stuff” the ballot box?

No. Only ballots submitted via one verified email address are accepted. The software rejects faux email addresses.

Who is eligible?

The readers decide whom they want to honor. Locally owned and operated companies are defined as such: the owner or managing partner living in Bay County through Escambia County or within a 30 mile radius of the Emerald Coast area.

How are the categories decided?

The categories are revisited each year, and we welcome reader suggestions.

What do “Best of” winners get?

Winners earn the prestige of being selected by a majority of our readers. They also get a listing in the magazine, usage of the “Best” logo for a year, discounted advertising rates, an award to showcase in their establishment, an invitation to the exclusive winners’ party, and two complimentary tickets to the “Best” celebration.

Results are published annually in the October/November issue of Emerald Coast Magazine. Have questions about Best of the Emerald Coast or interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact McKenzie Burleigh for more information.

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