Nothing but the best — the Neighbors’ Choice Awards

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What do you do when you want to find a good dentist in the area, or are seeking out who makes the best pizza in town? Likely, you ask your neighbors. Well, here’s a chance to find out what your neighbors recommend in more than 80 categories, from where to get your car washed to what store has the freshest fruit or what health club offers the best workout equipment. We’re not just talking the best in town, but the best across Lake and Porter counties.

Yes, it’s the annual Neighbors’ Choice Awards, a listing of the best businesses in the region, according to you, our readers. The awards listing is an annual ballot conducted for more than 14 years by the Post-Tribune. It groups the 80 types of businesses within five categories: Around the House; Food and Entertainment; Place to Buy; Health, Fitness and Leisure; and Service and Automotive. Readers are allowed to vote for any retailer of their choice.

“Congratulations to our 2013 Post-Tribune Neighbors’ Choice Award winners!,” said Rich Cains, sales manager for the Post-Tribune. “The Neighbors’ Choice is Northwest Indiana’s premier daily newspaper contest that encourages reader balloting based on personal preference and name recognition. Unlike other newspaper reader contests, the Post-Tribune Neighbors’ Choice does not encourage or persuade voting based on an advertising spend bias; readers are not given a list of advertisers to choose from as all winners are write-in business candidates. We provide the categories only.

“We do encourage our readers to purchase products and services from the wide variety of businesses found here, locally in Northwest Indiana. From state-of-the-art health-care facilities to delightful cuisine or from a vast array of top quality colleges and universities to local barber shops, grocers and florists, shopping Northwest Indiana is crucial to the economic success of our community.”

Readers were recently able to vote both in print and online over a period of time. The votes were counted and the winners are being announced in this section. Within each of the categories in this special section, businesses are listed in order of first, second and third place.

In addition to being listed in this special section, the winners named get a Neighbors’ Choice Awards sticker to place on the window or door of their business establishment.

“We would like to thank all of our Post-Tribune readers who voted in Neighbors’ Choice and encourage everyone to participate in the many other contests we have throughout the year,” Cains said. “We encourage you to send letters to the editor and offer quips in Quickly, and, enjoy all of those local purchases!”