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Small Business Influencer Awards

Saturday, August 13, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1 Girl
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AUG. 13, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- is excited to announce it received almost 1,000 votes, putting the company among the top 10 most popular nominees in its category in the nationwide 2011 Small Business Influencer contest. now advances to the finals, in which a panel of judges will choose the top contenders.

"We are extremely grateful for the support of local businesses and local shoppers who helped us finish in the top 10 and advance to the next step," says Ester Venouziou, founder of "This shows the power of working together, and how combining social media with traditional grassroots efforts for an effective marketing campaign.", a grassroots company founded in 2008, finished ahead of such mega-corporations including Constant Contact, VistaPrint, HubSpot, Manta, Xerox, WordPress and more than 200 others. was able to do so with the loyal support of countless businesses, groups and individuals. The number of people who helped get the word out about the contest was staggering. Some of the most active proponents included The House of Renee Originals, Faith's Cookies, Artist Sheree Remsel, Illuminated Publishing, Three Birds Tavern, St. Pete Bagel, Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces, Gulfport Chamber,, Madeline & Francine vintage jewelry, ShoutOut Tampa Bay and Fazio's Pizza. Local Shoppers Kristin Lohr, Sandy Hanna-Duffy, Jackie Simpson and Jon Ziegler also went out of their way to get the message out.

"This was such an incredible community effort," Venouziou says. 'We are truly humbled by the amazing amount of support. Yes, we'll be planning a big party to thank everyone!"

The 2011 Small Business Influencer contest was produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology and sponsored by BlackBerry. The contest honors companies, organizations and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market.

What happens next:

(1) The popular voting on the site is weighted at 40%. came out 10th in the Corporations category and 33rd in the Overall Category.

(2) The Judges to weigh in. The Judges' votes count for 60%. The Judges will be looking for those who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market, whether it is by providing products widely used by significant numbers of small businesses, influencing significant numbers of small businesses by being a thought leader, or providing information or services of note to significant numbers of small businesses.

(3) The Top 100 Small Business Influencers will be announced the week of Aug. 15.

(4) After the Top 100 are announced, those who ranked high in the popular voting and those who ranked high in the 5 categories also will be recognized.

(5) The big finale will come with an awards gala Sept. 14 in NYC, at the Auditorium on Broadway, at the New York Institute of Technology.

About, launched in August 2008, connects local, independent businesses and community-minded shoppers all over Tampa Bay. In 2010 was recognized as the region's best voice for small businesses. The member-supported organization features an extensive online directory of independent businesses and a shopping card, the 1Card, that offers discounts at participating shops, restaurants and service providers. also organizes networking meetings, store promotions and community events.