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Your Building. Your Way. Agricultural, Commercial, & Industrial


Lethbridge An ANG Publication WEST EDITION February 26, 2021


BY TREVOR BUSCH LETHBRIDGE HERALD TBUSCH@LETHBRIDGEHERALD.COM


While always a chance for Lethbridge businesses to have their place in the sun, the Best of the Best 2021 competition witnessed unprecedented vote support from local residents. This year's contest, which allows people to weigh in on their favourite businesses through online voting, saw 269,400 votes in 157 categories which far exceeds the previous record vote count of 160,000. "So while the popularity of the contest is growing


every year, you've also got to factor in there was a lot more time spent at home in front of electronic devices, where the ability and time to vote was there for a lot of people, too," said Brian Hancock, publisher of the Prairie Post West and Lethbridge Herald. "We're beyond ecstatic with the results, and every time you get more votes, it just means a, more validity for the contest, and b, more accuracy in the winners. No mater how many times you get your friends and neighbours to vote, it's almost insignificant compared to when the public gets on board and puts that many votes into the system. Accuracy and credibility is there." From humble beginnings, the Best of the Best com- petition has since grown to become a highly-respected business rating system for Lethbridge residents, and the contest doesn't show any sign of slowing down in 2021.


"This started 28 years ago, with the Sun Times, an independent paper," continued Hancock. "We started


this as a print one page, here's 40 categories, write the names in. The first year we did it we got 400 votes, and we thought that was absolutely amazing — how many people took the time to write in the names of the businesses, mail them back to us, we had to hand tally everything. So when you compare that 400 votes to the 269,400 this year, it's just a few more...it started out we thought it was a great idea, it's grown and grown and taken on a life of its own." Area businesses seek out the results, says Hancock, as a method of gauging their annual performance against other competitors. "The results have become a huge business tool for


a lot of industries, and pause for self-reflection and self-analysis, changing of policies and procedures, product lines they carry, everything. The feedback we get from people is absolutely amazing. One of the best parts of our job is when you get to phone somebody and tell them they won. When I see the results, and those results reflect the fact that Lethbridge supports Lethbridge, that's a great thing. We're a local business, we're trying to support our local economy and be a part of that giving back process. So it's really rewarding to see that."


Lethbridge's Best of the Best results remain the stron- gest evidence that city consumers choose local when they can, argues Hancock. "First and foremost, when you see the results, you understand: Lethbridge people do support local busi- nesses, and they vote for local businesses. There are bigger stores that have won certain categories, but


O


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you'd be quite surprised how often it's the local guy up against — a David versus Goliath concept, if you will — and it's the local guy winning. People really do appreci- ate them knowing the customer when you walk in the door, being recognized and calling you by your name, and supporting local businesses. It's not just a slogan, people in the Lethbridge actually believe it, do it, and enforce it."


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Photo by Neel Roberts TRIO OF SUNDOGS


Vulcan-area resident Neel Roberts was able to capture a triple sun-dog sunrise over his farm last                          


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403-380-4600        


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