Alignable’s 2020 Small Businessperson of the Year Award - Frequently Asked Questions

Alignable’s Small Businessperson Of The Year Contest takes place in thousands of communities throughout the U.S. and Canada every year. 

As the No. 1 online network of small businesses with 4.5 million+ members, we take great pride in highlighting and celebrating the best, most collaborative small business leaders.  

What is the Small Businessperson of the Year Award All About?

Every day, women and men are going above and beyond to help their fellow small business peers, and their local communities, prosper and thrive. We host this contest to honor the most inspirational and supportive small business owners who are leaders in their communities.

These small business people deserve recognition, don’t they?

Alignable will showcase many of the top nominees in our blog, Advice forum, newsletter, social media, and news releases. Throughout the contest, we’ll bring as much traditional, online and social media attention as possible to nominees and winners, as well as their businesses.

Nominating and voting in our annual Small Businessperson of the Year Award is super easy. No long forms to fill out, simply head over to your community nominations page and comment with a business you’d like to recognize (don’t forget to link to their Alignable profile). 

From there the votes or “likes” can start rolling in! 

For more specific details on voting procedures and how to make the most of your efforts, keep reading our FAQ, below.

Nomination FAQs

Who is eligible to be nominated?

Alignable’s 2020 Small Businessperson Of The Year Contest is open to all legal adults in the fifty (50) United States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Canada, who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry.

Alignable’s 2020 Small Businessperson Of The Year Contest is open to all legal adults in the fifty (50) United States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Canada, who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. 

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Current Alignable members can participate through a link received in a contest email or via their local newsletter.

Those new to Alignable can join for free at, and post their nominations and/or "likes" under their local Small Businessperson of the Year Advice forum article.

The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. 

Employees of Alignable, Inc., its owners, investors, partners, and their immediate family members (parents, spouses, siblings, and children) are not eligible. 

Who can submit nominations for this award?

Alignable Members can submit nominations for businesses in their community.

How can I submit nominations for the Small Business Person of the Year Award? What information must the nomination contain?
  1. Comment with the name of the business owner you’d like to nominate in your local small business person of the year nomination forum.
  2. Include a link to his or her Alignable profile.
  3. Add a recommendation explaining why the nominee deserves to win his or her community's 2020 Small Businessperson Of The Year. 
  4. Participants can nominate as many Alignable members as they choose during the contest nomination period (January 13th, 2020 at 6 a.m. Eastern Time to March 20th, 2020 at midnight, Eastern Time).

Pleases note: All comments must meet community standards and refrain from any profanity or disparaging comments about any individuals. Otherwise, they will be blocked or removed.

Can I nominate a business that isn’t on Alignable?

Unfortunately, no. Nominate small business owners who aren’t on Alignable yet by inviting them to join here.

Can I nominate myself for Small Businessperson of the Year?

Small businesspeople can nominate themselves, but they will need widespread support from others to move onto the next round of the competition. 

If you want to be a nominee, we strongly encourage you to ask a friend in the community to nominate you (and you can nominate him or her, as well).

How long do I have to nominate a business for this award? What is the deadline?

The nomination period begins at 6 a.m. Eastern Time on January 13, 2020, and ends at midnight, Eastern Time on March 20, 2020. 

Nominations submitted before or after the entry period will be disqualified.

How can I vote for this award? How will award votes be tallied?

Alignable Members can vote for nominated businesses by liking and replying to nominations they agree with. You can only “like” each nomination once, per voting round.

Only 3 of the most-liked nominations will make it to the next round -- and only Alignable “likes” count. 

Please note: while "likes" in other social media (Facebook, Twitter, and more) can attract attention for contestants, those "likes" will not have any bearing on the final standings of this contest.

How many times can I vote for a nominee?

You can like each nomination once, per voting round. Be sure to check back in to see if your nominee has made it to the next round, and vote for them again!

  1. Phase One Voting Ends: March 20th, 2020
  2. Phase Two Voting Ends: TBD
  3. Phase Three Judging Determination: TBD
I’ve been nominated! What can I do to increase my chances of winning this award?

We encourage nominees to get the word out about their nominations via social media, press releases, websites/blog posts, email blasts, or other means so that they can accumulate as many Alignable "likes" as possible. Also, ask for stories and recommendations from your supporters! (Great recommendations go a long way in this competition).

The number of Alignable "likes" will count toward 70% of the determination of who advances to the next round of this highly competitive, yet friendly contest.

I’ve been nominated. What should I do if I don’t want to participate?

If someone is nominated who does not want to participate, we will promptly remove him or her from the competition once we are notified by that individual via email. 

Anyone nominated who does not want to participate should reach out to and will be removed from the competition.

What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Businessperson of the Year Award? How will Alignable determine a winner?

The Contest will run for approximately five (5) months, via two phases leading up to the final local town/city winner announcements.


To kick off the first phase, Alignable will nominate several people in each community based on their Highly Recommended status and their general activity on 

But Alignable strongly encourages all small businesses in North America to offer additional nominations, along with glowing recommendations. (Sign Up for Alignable)

During the nomination/entry phase of the competition (January 13, 2020 to March 20, 2020), once a nomination is posted in the Local Advice forum/Community Page, it can be distributed via social media, email, or any other means to generate Alignable “likes.”

For “likes” to be counted during the entry phase, the voters must be Alignable members AND they must be logged in before voting. (If you're a member and you like the post and it doesn't record, then log in and please try it again). 

“Likes” on the Alignable platform are the only likes that count towards the voting system.

At the end of the first phase, the three top nominees in each community will be selected, based on the number of Alignable "likes" they receive and other factors reflected in nomination recommendations.


Starting in April of 2020, the second phase of voting will begin and will include the Top three (3) nominees for each community. Their peers will “like” a business to cast their final vote in that town's/city's 2020 Small Businessperson Of The Year Award contest. 


Note: the starting date and duration of that voting stage will be determined and released after Alignable's judging panel reviews all of the "likes" and comments from the first phase.

After reviewing "likes" or "votes" and comments from the nominee's community, the Alignable judging panel will select each community’s Small Business Person of the Year.

Throughout both phases of the competition, 70 percent of all decisions will be based on “likes” or “votes,” and 30 percent will be made by Alignable's judging panel. 

Alignable reserves the right to disqualify any nominee or winner at its discretion based on our community standards.

What happens if there is a tie for this award?

In some cases, there could be a tie for first place in your local community. If a tie results, each winner will be honored.

What do I win if I’m named Small Businessperson of the Year in my community?

At the end of the competition, the top Small Businesspeople Of The Year in each of our communities will be honored with a tailored badge on their Alignable profiles and will be promoted via social and traditional media locally, regionally and nationally in their respective countries.  

The small businessperson chosen as the local 2020 Small Businessperson Of The Year will be awarded a badge on their profiles celebrating this major achievement.

The distinction of being elected as the local Small Businessperson Of The Year has translated into a major boost in visibility, credibility, and new business opportunities for many of the winners.

In addition, winners have received media coverage, social media buzz, and recognition from their local Chambers of Commerce, as well. Last year, Alignable members chose more than 2,400 winners and the company expects that number to increase substantially this year.

Have a question not addressed here?

Any additional questions or media inquiries about the contest can be directed to Chuck Casto at

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