NNBW Editor: Best in Business contest returns for 2020 (Voices)

RENO, Nev. — As the COVID-19 pandemic plunders ahead with gobs of uncertainty hanging in the air like an ominous cloud, it is no doubt a tense time to be the owner of — or an investor in — a business right now.

To be fair, it’s not all negative. Some industries are thriving, in fact. And while several others may have interrupted revenue streams and/or a short-term profit blip due to varying shutdowns this spring, there are plenty of examples where companies that have instilled a strong “prior planning prevents poor performance” mantra will weather this storm just fine.

Yet, for those Silver State businesses that operate in at-risk sectors brought about by the pandemic — food & beverage, hospitality & tourism and traditional retail, to name a few — the year 2020 may spell disaster for some, particularly if COVID cases worsen and the government orders larger-scale shutdowns.

So, despite the cliché, there is absolutely “no better time than now” to celebrate businesses across Northern Nevada, which is why we are excited to announce the NNBW’s Readers’ Choice Best In Business awards are returning for 2020.

For those uninitiated, the NNBW’s Readers’ Choice Best In Business contest is an annual celebration of the best industries, businesses and people who make the greater Reno-Carson-Tahoe region such a wonderful place to live and work.

While the awards have seen several changes over the years — including their cancelation in 2019 due to business conditions and the pending sale of the NNBW last summer — we’re going full-steam ahead this year to bring you a Best In Business contest that’s bigger, better and brighter than ever before.

Here are the key details:

  • Like in previous years, the 2020 contest will be broken into two phases: a nomination period and a voting period, both of which will be handled by an independent third-party platform through our website (no paper ballots will be accepted; it’s all digital).
  • The nomination period is scheduled for Aug. 19 through Sept. 9, during which readers can nominate any person or business in any of the 18 categories (more on that below).
  • Once the nomination period wraps, we’ll spend time weeding through all the entries to determine 10 finalists in each of the 18 categories — this means we’ll have a total of 180 finalists.
  • Once those finalists are announced, the voting period is scheduled for Sept. 23 through Oct. 7, during which readers can vote once per day for their favorite nominee in each of the 18 categories.
  • After voting wraps, we’ll announce the 18 winners (one for each category, including second and third place) on Dec. 30, 2020, both on our website and within the 13th annual Northern Nevada Book of Lists, our marquee special section that’s scheduled to publish the same day.

Increased categories this year

As mentioned, the big change for 2020 is there will be a total of 18 categories. We’re keeping the six main categories we’ve had in previous years, while adding 12 extras in an effort to celebrate even more industries.

Following is a breakdown of the 18 categories for 2020:


  • Most Influential Professional (Thought Leaders)
  • New Nevada Innovator (Movers & Shakers)
  • Leader To Know (High Profile)


  • Most Sustainable Company (Green & Earth Friendly)
  • Most Philanthropic Company (Community Give-Back)
  • Most Diverse Company (Workforce Diversity)


  • Best In Business: Accounting Firm
  • Best In Business: Law Firm
  • Best In Business: Bank//SBA Lender
  • Best In Business: Credit Union
  • Best In Business: Loan & Title Company
  • Best In Business: Construction Company/Firm
  • Best In Business: Commercial Real Estate Company
  • Best In Business: Residential Real Estate Company
  • Best In Business: Hospital & Healthcare Provider
  • Best In Business: Commercial/Residential Developer
  • Best In Business: Manufacturing/Logistics Company
  • Best In Business: Technology Company/Firm

Feedback encouraged

One of the main things we want to stress for this year’s contest is that, while we’re pleased to add several categories to ensure more companies and industries are honored, we know there are going to be instances in which certain businesses might not make sense for a certain category.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to effectively run a contest like this (not to mention doing so with a very thin staff), so for 2020, we won’t be able to add any categories or otherwise make wholesale updates to the contest.

But that said, we expect a great deal of feedback before, during and after the contest about how we can improve things for next year.

Please reach out to me at kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com or the NNBW’s Business Development Manager, Melissa Saavedra, at msaavedra@nevadanewsgroup.com with questions, ideas and constructive criticism.

Other than that, starting Aug. 19, you can go to nnbw.com/bestinbusiness to begin nominating and to learn full details about this year’s contest.

Happy nominating and happy voting, Northern Nevada! After everything that’s happened this year, we can’t wait to give our business community the awesome recognition it deserves!

Kevin MacMillan is editor of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Email him at kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com


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