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TSD opens nominations for 2014 Best in Black Awards

Best in Black
Each summer since 2012 Memphians have had a chance to weigh in on naming the “best” across a wide spectrum of business and individual categories. Their choices reflect answers to questions such as these:
Who has the best hot wings in Memphis? What about Soul food? What is the Best Barber Shop in Memphis? Who’s the best personal trainer? Best Choir? Best Radio Personality? How about Beauty Salon? What Nail Salon tops all others? 
By way of the third annual Best In Black Awards hosted by The New Tri-State Defender, the public again has the opportunity to nominate and subsequently choose their favorites based upon their experiences and opinions. Nominations, which are now open, will close on July 18th. Voting kicks off on July 21st and ends at midnight on August 5th.
The dynamic portal and website – www.bestinblackawards.com – has been designed to extend the BIB Awards concept to the community. The public is invited to visit the website and nominate businesses in over 50 BEST categories. 
A few changes have been made this year. Only the top 5 businesses nominated in each category will go on the online ballots for which the public can vote their favorites. This means that the number of nominations that a business receives makes a difference. It is the first cut and only the top 5 in each category will move on to the voting round.
“It’s a creative way to poll the community about the individuals, businesses and organizations that they most support while identifying those with the best brands and reputations,” said Bernal E. Smith II, owner of Best Media Properties and President and Publisher of The New Tri-State Defender.
The top three vote-getters in each of the 25 top categories (based on total number of votes cast) will be invited to the Best in Black Pre-Awards VIP Reception (at Dorothy Mae’s at the Ernest Withers’ Gallery on Beale Street) and the Best in Black Awards Show, which is set for the Cannon Center on August 30, beginning at 7 p.m.
The Best in Black Awards Show will feature local Memphis talent between the presentations of the most popular Best in Black Award categories. 
“In a city like Memphis, which has at least a 70 percent African-American population, a robust business, non-profit and entrepreneurial community, and a deep well of culture and history, creating this sort of platform, was something that was truly long overdue,” said Smith.
“I’ve observed similar platforms done by other publications in the area and they all seem to consistently – for the most part – exclude the majority of African-American-owned companies, which are mostly service and retail-related businesses. It is our intention to grow this dynamic annual ‘contest’ and event in which the Greater Memphis community can both anticipate and participate each year.” 
Current event sponsors include Ford Motor Company, Cigna, and Memphis 10 Magazine. Additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available.
“This has proven to be an incredible platform for acknowledging individuals and businesses that the community recognizes as the best,” said Smith. “This has swiftly become one of Memphis’ premier events!”
(For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BestinBlackAwards; www.tsdmemphis.com; and www.facebook.com/tristatedefender.)


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