What is Best of Northwest Arkansas?

The Best of Northwest Arkansas 2021, invites, engages and allows you, our audience, to recognize the best businesses, organizations and people in Northwest Arkansas. Our focus is on businesses and entertainment that support, serve and do business in Northwest Arkansas.

Do I have to register?

Voting surveys are anonymous and do not require registration. However, we do offer participants the opportunity to share their name, email and telephone number with us so that we can keep them up to date on the program. Registration may be necessary in the voting phase to promote fair voting. You may be asked for your name and e-mail address.

Can I nominate or vote by paper or in person?

No. All nominations and voting are done through our website and links to our voting platform.

How does nominating work this year ?

We rely on our audience to supply us with the names of outstanding people, businesses and establishments in each of over 250 categories. Once the nominees are finalized, our audience is asked to vote on one choice in each category. Per our guidelines, you are allowed to nominate/vote once every 24 hours.

Readers nominate their favorites in service area of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, by selecting one of 9 topic areas (Agriculture, Eat & Drink, Education, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Motors, Professional Services, Shopping and Things to Do). Nominations outside of the market area will not qualify for the balloting, but are welcome to participate as advertisers in print and our digital destination, www.bestnwa.com.


Nominating is as simple as entering a name and city in text entry fields. It’s best, but not required, to provide additional information on the nominee so that we can verify them (phone number, address, URL). Users are not required to nominate in all categories. You may return any time before 5:00 PM Central Time, Wednesday, November 17, 2021 to add nominations. Users are permitted to nominate a single business in more than one category. Businesses with multiple locations will appear as a single nomination for the voting phase. Nomination is required to be on the final ballot. Business associates and advertisers of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and any other owner affiliated company are not given special treatment.

Our ballot is a closed ballot, however; we will consider late entries into an established category by request. All late entries must be received by Friday, December 10th. All late entries must be emailed to support@bestnwa.com for consideration. 

The nomination period begins at 12:00PM Central Time, Monday, November 1 2021, and ends at 5:00PM Central Time, Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Will everyone that is nominated be on the ballot?

For a category to qualify for the ballot, there must be a minimum of 5 separate businesses that are competing for votes. If a category is not qualifying, we will make reasonable accommodations to move the nominee to a similar category. Once a category is qualified, we will ballot each individual business that has been nominated.

​I’m on the ballot, what is required of me?

Should a business earn enough votes to be in the top three, they may be required to complete a simple online questionnaire, that included basic business information including, name, location(s), year established, business hours, phone number, web address (if any) and submit or make available a photo of the business, organization or individual. There is no cost or obligation to participate.


How are votes tabulated?

Votes are tabulated by a third-party. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette do not know the results of the contest until after the votes are tabulated. In each category, readers vote on their favorite nominee. Readers are permitted to vote in each category once per day. Businesses, institutions, individuals and schools are encouraged to promote the contest in order to gain nominations and/or votes. Competitive advertising, special offers, campaigns are permitted; however, the producers at it’s sole discretion, reserves the right to exclude from the competition any businesses or individuals that engages in activities intended to “rig” or “fix” the voting process.  Votes that are suspect may be disqualified in the count.

Use of bots, robotic, repetitive, automatic, programmed, vote exchange websites, vote “farming”, scripts or other automated means designed to circumvent “one ballot per person per day” rule, are not allowed. Contestants discovered using these methods for vote acceleration are subject to suspected votes being disqualified without notice, and the jeopardy of the Contestant being completely disqualified and removed from the competition.

The regular voting period begins at Noon Central Time, Thursday, November 25, 2021and ends at 5:00PM Central Time, Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

Can I “write-In” a business during voting?

Our ballot is a closed ballot, however we will accept late entries into an established category by request. All late entry requests must be received by December 10, 2021 to be included in the process.

When will winners be announced?

The winners will be posted and announced on BestofNWA.com on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 8PM Central Time. All Winners will be honored in the Best Of Northwest Arkansas magazine that will be distributed in the Sunday Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday, April 3, 2022. In the event of a tie in any category, more than one winner may be awarded.

The Best of Northwest Arkansas and the unique logos are registered trademarks of Northwest Arkansas-Democrat Gazette and may only be used with express, written permission. Logos are licensed to winners at a marketing spend or direct payment of $1,995 or moreBest of Northwest Arkansas merchandise does not count towards the logo license spend.

Questions about The Best Of Northwest Arkansas?  Simply contact us!