The competition began in 2008 with more than 80 categories in which LaFayette area businesses dominated the competition, which was held in conjunction with the Chamber’s annual business expo.
It has since blossomed into a luncheon event to recognize citizen’s favorite area businesses.
Click here to cast your votes
“Businesses absolutely love getting their patrons to vote for them, “ Chamber president Stephanie Snodgrass said. “It is a conversation starter for them and they really enjoy it.”
A 10-member committee now oversees the contest and it has moved to being a dinner to allow more small-business owners to attend.
The proximity to the holiday shopping season has helped create attention for the retail businesses, according to Snodgrass.
It also now features first-place plaques for winners in each category.
A reduction to 55 categories became necessary after the first few years, based on popularity and tracking the yearly data.
The two categories that currently have the most votes are for best pizza shop and best high school.
One category that went by the wayside due to high-tech modernization in its industry was best movie rental store.
After the electronic ballots have been cast and the awards have been won, many businesses proudly display their Best of Walker banners, which became available last year.
In 2011 more than 2,000 ballots were cast, with the contest winners including The Bank of LaFayette, Bountiful Blessings Bakery, Debbi’s Flowers, Teems & Teems Agency and Oakwood Baptist Church, among many others that were recognized in their respective categories. People are now limited to one entry per electronic device.
“The most-voted-on categories for last year were favorite restaurant and their favorite community,” Snodgrass said.
Walker County Schools and Roper Corp. have been the top two places to work locally for the past two years.
Voting ends Sept. 28 and registration for the dinner must be completed online at walkercochamber.com/bestofwalker2012.htm.