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Frequently Asked Questions

Nominating a Business Voting Categories


How are businesses nominated for the Top Shelf?

The Top Shelf Awards are a self-nominated contest. Businesses owners or a designated employee can claim eligible businesses, add details (hours, location, photos, etc…) to their business page and choose what categories in which to compete.

When can I claim my business?

You can claim your business any time. Officially the open claim and nomination period starts at midnight Thursday, Feb. 18 runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 13.

This is my first time participating, how do I claim my business?

First create an account here. If you already have a username and password associated with The Gazette (for example, if you participated in the our Best Of Contest in a past year), you can log in here.

Once you are logged in, you go through the claiming funnel. Most businesses in the area are already a part of our database, so you simple need to search for, find your listing, and click claim. If after searching you still do not see your business listed, you can enter that business into our database. You will be prompted with that option after performing a search, which you can do here.

What if I have already claimed my business?

If you claimed a business in 2011 or any subsequent year, you don't need to claim it again. If you competed prior to 2011, you will need to go through the claim process again. Once you log in with the user account that is tied to that business, you will be redirected to that business’ dashboard where you can edit your listing or category nominations. Also when logged in, if you have already claimed a business, you will see the word “Dashboard” in the subnavigation at all times, for a quick link back to your business dashboard.

What if I competed in a previous contest?

If you competed in a previous best of contest, you do not need to reclaim your business. You will need to log in here and enter this year's contest by choosing the categories you wish to compete in.

What if I forgot my username and/or password?

If you remember the email associated with the account but don’t remember the password, simply reset your password here. If you have completely forgotten both the email and password you used, you will have to create a new account.

What if I don’t see my business in the list?

You can add your business here.

I claimed my business, now what?

Once your business has been claimed, edit your business page and choose the categories you wish to compete in. You may choose up to three categories for your business. Every time you log in to the Top Shelf page, click on the Dashboard link to access and edit your business information.

Another owner or employee managed our business account in the past; how do I update this information?

You can still create a new user account and proceed through the claiming and nominating process. Do not create a duplicate business page. To delete out-of-date user information, email us at with business and contact information so we can update our database.

What businesses are eligible to compete?

To be eligible to enter the Hoopla Top Shelf, businesses must be located in the Hoopla distribution area. Businesses must also offer services within an existing contest category. Otherwise, just claim your business and select the categories you want to compete in.

What if my business has more than one location?

We recommend that you create one page for your business and include the addresses of additional locations in your business' description. If you create a profile for each location, they will compete against the other.

How will winners be notified?

Winners will be announced online and in print after the end of the contest period on dates determined by Hoopla Top Shelf representatives.

Can I use incentives/giveaways to promote my involvement in the Top Shelf and gain votes?

The Gazette and its affiliates are not involved in any promotion of Top Shelf from participating businesses. Any business choosing to promote their involvement in the Top Shelf contest do so solely without the consent or involvement from the Top Shelf and any of their representatives.


When does voting begin?

Voting will be held from 12 a.m. Tuesday, March 15 to noon Friday, April 8 at

How do I register to vote?

First create an account here. If you already have a username and password associated with The Gazette (for example, if you voted in Hoopla’s Best Of contest in a past year), you can log in here.

What if I forgot my password?

If you remember the email associated with the account, you can reset your password here. If you do not remember the email or the password, you will need to sign up for a new account.

How many times can I vote?

You can vote once in each category.

Can I change my vote?

You cannot change your vote. When you decide to vote for a location, that vote is counted. We provide you with a confirmation screen on each vote to protect you from accidentally clicking on a location that you didn’t mean to vote for.

How are winners chosen?

Winners are chosen by voters on the website and mobile site, but do not reflect or represent an endorsement by The Gazette or any of its affiliate companies.

What will you do with my personal information if I register to participate in Top Shelf?

In general, you can visit our websites without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information. However, if you want to use certain online services, you may be asked to provide some personal information, such as your name, mailing address or e-mail address. We also may ask you to choose a user name and password and provide that information when accessing certain online features.

We are committed to protecting the privacy, accuracy and reliability of any personal information you choose to provide and to safeguarding such information from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. Read our full privacy policy here.

Why can't I view how many votes my business has received?

You will be able to see how your business is ranked throughout the contest. Votes are not displayed because all votes are reviewed after voting closes.


What categories are included?

Find a full list of categories here.

How are categories determined?

Categories are determined by Top Shelf representatives from The Gazette based on user feedback and past contest participation. To suggest a category email and we will track all recommendations.

Why are there so many less categories than last year?

At Hoopla, we love being able to provide a platform to showcase your business, and one of our goals with the new Top Shelf Awards is to make sure that the best-of-the-best shines through to the thousands of people visiting our site, reading our paper and reading the Top Shelf magazine. By reducing the number of categories, we will be able to narrow the focus in each category, and provide in-depth features and benefits to businesses in each key area.

How do I choose a category?

You can choose up to three categories once you have claimed your business. There is a simple drop down form on your business dashboard.

Can my business compete in more than one category?

Businesses can compete in up to three categories.

I would like clarification on what certain categories mean and if I can participate in them.

We know our categories have changed and want to be sure you understand what they mean. To learn more about what each category means, simply go to the voting page for that category where there is a description for what falls under that category.


Top Shelf is Hoopla’s new Best of program. Please take a look through all of our categories, nominate if you are a business, and vote if you are a consumer. To learn more about Top Shelf, please visit our FAQ section.

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