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Indie Award

Independent Retailer Contest Offers Recognition, Opportunities

Independent We Stand (IWS), a movement that exists to support independent businesses, is hosting its seventh annual contest to help recognize a locally owned small business that has gone above and beyond to deliver great customer service and community support.

According to the Home Sweet Home Study, conducted by IWS and the North American Retail Hardware Association, twice as much money remains in the local community when a consumer shops at a local independent home improvement business than if they spent the same money at a big-box store. The same statistic is true when it comes to pros who shop at independent stores, according to the Home Sweet Home Pros’ Edition study. Plus, the Small Business Administration reports small businesses donate about twice as much per employee to charitable organizations and large businesses.

The winner of the Indie Award will not only receive $5,000 in cash, but will also have an opportunity to pay it forward through a $1,000 cash donation to their favorite small business group.

Nominations and voting begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at

The 2017 winner will also receive a boost online. A full-service advertising agency will provide a branding, advertising and public relations makeover, which can then be used with a one-year subscription to an all-in-one online marketing platform specifically designed for small business.

Past winners from the home improvement industry include Howard Brother Hardware of Duluth, Georgia, and Trio Hardware of Plainview, New York.

The winner of the 2017 Indie Award will receive a grand prize package that includes:

  • Branding, advertising and public relations makeover from The Meridian Group.
  • $5,000 cash, plus $1,000 in bonus cash for the winner’s favorite small business group.
  • A 12-month subscription and three months of free managed marketing services for small business email and social media services from SnapRetail.
  • A three-day, two-night retreat and branding workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • A $1,000 STIHL equipment certificate.
  • Public relations and social recognition.

All 25 quarterfinalists will receive a free Independent We Stand premium membership for life.

Nominations and voting runs from Sept. 12 through Nov. 12. Quarterfinalists will be announced on Nov. 20 and voting runs from Nov. 20 through Dec. 10. Semifinalists will be announced on Dec. 11, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 13. Any locally owned and operated business in the U.S. is eligible to enter the contest.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442

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