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Can you believe it’s that time of year again? While Santa is busy making his list and checking it twice and houses across the region are stringing up lights, we here at Tucson Local Media were busy building this year’s edition of the Best of the Northwest Contest—and it is finally time to get things rolling.

Every year, the Explorer, Marana News and Foothills News publications host a spectacular competition highlighting north Tucson’s most impressive (and popular) businesses and community members: Restaurants, book stores, first responders, vet clinics, movie theaters and just about everything else you can think of finds a little love here.

Want to find the best burger in town? We’ve got you covered. What about the best place for a bike ride through the desert? Look no further. In the need for a relaxing night in  one of the region’s premier resorts? We’ve got recommendations galore.

It’s now my third year at the helm of this fun contest, and I couldn’t be more excited to get things rolling again—and to deliver an even better product this year. Last time around, more than 7,300 votes came in, nearly doubling the total from the year before, and I’m hoping to set another personal record this year.

But we need your help.

The contest goes live Monday, Nov. 18 at Just click on the “Best of the Northwest” tab on our banner. There won’t be nominees from which to choose, but that’s where you come in. Submit businesses under one of the many categories, and submit as many as you’d like—we won’t stop you! 

As with last year, we are keeping in place our one-business, one-award policy, though with a slight change this year. Businesses can only win one award in a single category like “Retail and Services” or “Food and Drink,” but they can win multiple awards if they receive nominations elsewhere. 

For instance, a business can win “Best Mom and Pop Shop” and still win “Best Burger,” because the two awards are in different categories. If a business wins out in multiple awards in the same category, they win the award for which they received the most votes.

Nominations open next Monday, and remain open until Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. The winners and runners-up will be compiled into a list and on your doorstep for the March 18, 2020 edition of the paper.

We’re excited to see what local businesses and long time repeat winners end up returning for this year’s compendiumthough I am just as interested to find out which new businesses are catching people’s eyes around town.

Let the voting begin!

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