LINK: 2020 BEST OF NEA WINNERS
Welcome to the 2020 edition of Best of Northeast Arkansas. Last year was our first production of the Best of Northeast Arkansas contest. We recognized the need for a new Best Of process and produced the 2019 version ourselves. With that foundation and our great audience in Northeast Arkansas we are proud and pleased to present the 2020 edition. This year, we enlisted the help of our new friends from NERUS Strategies out of Oregon. They produce Best Of contests across America including Best of Northwest Arkansas, Best of Branson and Best of Las Vegas, to name a few.
You likely noticed several changes in how we nominated and how we voted. We have a new year-round destination website at BestofNEA.com, and a yearly magazine. Truly the definitive guide to all that is best in Northeast Arkansas.
We started this year’s contest on February 10, with open nominations. We received over 4,700 nominations to be on the ballot. As we started voting, we had 1,109 local companies and individuals competing to be voted best. For 2020, we are presenting 311 winners in 184 categories, for a total of 368 awards.
During our voting, February 24 through March 12, we had over 27,000 unique voters cast over 171,000 votes. To finish in the top two positions of the 2020 Best of Northeast Arkansas is not only an accomplishment, but also a testament to how the friends, fans, and customers feel about our local area businesses.
Along the way, our local business folks were challenged like no other year. First, as voting closed, the pandemic of 2020 began, temporarily shuttering businesses. As if that was not enough of a challenge, we were then impacted at the end of March by an EF-3 tornado. As the tornado sliced from southwest to northeast, it damaged the Mall at Turtle Creek, the Jonesboro Municipal Airport, an Anheuser-Busch granary and many local shops and residences.
The Jonesboro Radio Group took to the airwaves broadcasting updates and reports as they happened. Listeners tuned-in on their radio and streaming live online. The tornado made national news and was covered on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, USA Today and The New York Times.
Like good Northeast Arkansans, businesses started to reopen. We could not be prouder to salute and pay tribute to the great businesses that were voted the Best in their individual categories. Thank you to all of the folks that took the time to vote. We encourage you to explore BestofNEA.com and engage with our winners. Some may be familiar, and some may be new to you. All will welcome your business as we get back at it.
Congratulations to all, and until our 2021 contest … we will see you on the radio.