For the second time, residents of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will be given the opportunity to vote for the people and businesses they think provide the best products and services in this country.
The 2018 campaign of the Best of SVG peopleâs choice awards begins on January 5, with voting taking place over an eight-week period, and ending on March 2, 2018.
This year, the public will be asked to vote for who they think is best in 100 categories, 15 fewer than in 2017.
âDuring our very successful campaign in 2017, we got a lot of feedback from the public in relation to the categories they were asked to vote on. We also looked at which categories were redundant or less popular among the public,â stated Karen James, marketing and advertising executive at Interactive Media Ltd (IML), host of the campaign.
James said 25 of the categories from 2017 were removed or renamed, while 10 new ones have been added. Among the new categories for 2018 are hair braider, nail technician, butcher, roti maker, videographer, nurse, drama group and vlogger.
As was the case in 2017, the public is being given a $1,000 incentive to take part in the campaign.
âMembers of the public may cast votes in as few or as many of the 100 categories as they please, but if they wish to be entered into the draw to win $1,000, they must fill out at least 25 categories,â said Clare Keizer, chief executive officer of IML, who added that in 2017, the winner of the $1,000 prize was Nigel Durham, a postman in the public service.
Keizer also advised businesses to encourage their satisfied clients to vote for them, as receiving a âBest of SVGâ award is good for business.
âMany of the people and businesses who won in 2017 told us that the award gave them a boost, not only in terms of the new business that came their way, but of confidence,â Keizer said.
She said that in addition to certificates, stickers and plaques which winners may display in their business places, SEARCHLIGHT publishes multimedia features on many of the winners. Keizer also urged the public not to wait until the last minute to submit their votes.
She said Vincentians can be assured of the integrity of the vote, as the entire process will be done under the strict supervision of the auditing firm Grant Thornton, which is also one of the main sponsors of the campaign.
Drop boxes for completed ballots will be placed at Georgeâs Supermarket â Mesopotamia; Melva Norton â Barrouallie; Ace #2 â Arnos Vale; Andrew Crichton â Georgetown; Dawn Sandy â Canouan; Bequia Tourism Office â Bequia; Toneyâs Minimart â Calliaqua; Hanaway Minimart â Chateaubelair; Courts St Vincent Ltd â Bay Street, Kingstown; Searchlight â Lower Kingstown Park; and Massy Supermarket â Stoney Ground.
An official launch of the campaign will take place on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, with the awards ceremony being scheduled for late April.
During the next few weeks, the campaign will be promoted through print, radio, television and social media advertisements, as well as outreach visits to communities around the country, including the Grenadines.
Sponsors of the campaign and awards ceremony so far include Grant Thornton, We Fm, Guardsman SVG Ltd, QuickCash Corporation, NBC Radio, the SVG Community College, Boom FM, JoChe Moments, Sports Locka Plus/Trophy Centre, Right Stuff, Bullock Trucking, Green Peaks and the Chamber of Commerce.