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As Minnesota’s largest and most trusted media company, it’s always our mission to help support a flourishing business community. And that’s exactly what Minnesota’s Best is all about. It’s a chance to throw the spotlight on all the great establishments we appreciate, giving them the visibility they deserve to not only survive — but thrive. Over the last two years, Minnesota’s Best continues to gather momentum with more than 800 businesses, organizations, and individuals competing to be named in the top three spots of 350+ categories. Make sure yours is in the mix.


What is Minnesota's Best?

  • Minnesota’s Best is a best-of contest created to help all the valuable businesses we appreciate, like yours, not only survive but thrive.

  • Your business can be nominated in over 350 categories, including everything from Beauty and Fitness to Veterinarians and Window treatments. Find your business category and the full list here.

  • Winners are selected by consumers.


How does the Minnesota’s Best contest work?

  • Minnesota’s Best is an audience-driven contest. Businesses are nominated by owners, managers, customers, and/or fans.​ There is no cost for businesses to participate in the contest.

  • Businesses are nominated in one of over 350 categories and are then vetted, verifying that they provide the service that they are nominated for and that they serve Minnesota.​

  • Once verified, nominees are placed on the Minnesota’s Best ballot.

  • Those nominees are then published and promoted by the Star Tribune and voted on by Star Tribune’s vast readership with a marketing campaign over $1.5MM.

  • Voting is done online and spans 24 days. The public can vote once each day during the voting period.​

  • There are three winners (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) in each Sub-Category.

  • Businesses can download FREE assets that can be used to promote and drive customer engagement throughout the program.​

  • Winners will be announced on the Minnesota’s Best website and in the Minnesota’s Best magazine​.

Why is it important to your business?

  • VISIBILITY Consumers love it. An outstanding 750,000+ votes were cast in 2022, which just reinforces the pride customers, fans, and friends have for their favorite local businesses and Minnesota.

  • THIRD PARTY VALIDATION Anyone can say that their company is “The Best.”  Not every company can validate that statement through the voices of the people in your community.

  • ELEVATES EMPLOYEE MORALE, RETENTION & NEW TALENT Winning businesses find it easier to attract new talent and current employees feel recognized for their hard work. 

  • INCREASES BRAND AWARENESS The mark of excellence associated with the Minnesota’s Best award raises your credibility and humanizes your company’s brand. Display the Minnesota’s Best logo year-round to keep your status top of mind.

  • BUILDS CUSTOMER LOYALTY & NEW BUSINESS What makes a customer a “regular” is the quality and popularity of a business. Potential new customers may choose you over your competitors due to your award-winning reputation.

  • EXPANDS PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES We work diligently to promote Minnesota’s Best to all our contacts, followers, viewers, and fans throughout the community. Participation provides your business with increased visibility through our extensive multi-media campaigns. Plus, all winners will be published on the Minnesota’s Best website, and in the Minnesota’s Best magazine.

  • BOOSTS FAN ENGAGEMENT It is crucial to establish a strong, engaged, and loyal fan base. Just being nominated gives your business cachet. Our program provides unique and creative content that is designed to streamline this process and make interaction simple.


2023 Key Dates

  • Nominations: Sunday, February 12 through Wednesday, March 1, 2023

  • Voting: Sunday, March 12 through Wednesday, April 5, 2023

  • Early Bird Winners Magazine rates end: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

  • Gold Winner questionnaires and contact information due: Wednesday, April 26, 2023

  • Magazine Space deadline: Monday, May 22, 2023

  • Results published in the Winners Magazine and on VotedMinnesota’ Sunday, August 13, 2023

  • Minnesota’s Best event: Thursday, October 12 at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

What should I do if I want to participate in the 2024 MN Best Contest?

  • When the contest begins, alert all your customers, friends, and fans to nominate and cast their votes in favor of your business.​

  • Use the FREE toolkit to help you make the most of social media and this valuable engagement with your business throughout each phase of the program and Minnesota.​

  • Purchase advertising products to promote voting and, if you win, to make sure your fans know.

  • If you win, utilize the real and authentic Minnesota’s Best logo to promote your business. Minnesota’s Best logos (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) will be licensed to those who spend $1,500 or more on Minnesota’s Best marketing.

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