Frequently Asked Questions about Simply the Best 2020

Every year we have a lot of questions regarding our competition. We are taking a few minutes to try and answer some of the most common ones:

When is it?
Nominations begin January 1, 2020 and end February 21, 2020. Voting begins April 15, 2020.

How are businesses nominated?
Nominations are determined by the number of businesses with the most unique entries.

Do I have to advertise in the magazine to be nominated/win?
No. No purchase is required to participate in the competition or to win the competition. We are not shy in telling you that advertising in our magazine helps because it is the best way to remind the voters about your business and what category you’d like to be considered for. Much like political candidates advertise to get their name out to the public (but we do not allow negative ads).

Also, we would not be able to do this competition every year without our advertisers. It costs a lot of time and money to do a competition like this. So we

Why don’t you have a category for _______? 
We get this question a lot. As much as we’d like to have a category so every business in Harrisburg could participate, we don’t have the manpower to do it. Last year, had over 250 categories, and it was impossible for us to manage. This year we have scaled it down and tried to offer more broad categories (we now offer things like “Best Asian Restaurant” instead of “Best Chinese Restaurant” and “Best Japanese Restaurant”).

We selected categories based on what categories were popular last year. We also did a reader’s poll on what people felt we should add. We have had several categories that would allow a more broad participation including “Best Customer Service” and “Best Small Business (1-10 employees) to combat this problem.

When I nominate, why does the business show up as _______? 
What businesses show up depends upon two things: your location and how the business is listed in Google Business. Locations are determined by your location. For example, if you lived in New Jersey (which the writer of this article does) and you typed in “McDonald’s,” it would show the McDonald’s with address in Cherry Hill and Camden.

Google Business is NOT the same thing as Google Search or Google Maps. Google Search is a search engine. Google Maps is a map. Google Business is a tool managed by Google that helps a business manage their online profile–which includes Google Search and Google Maps. It’s free. For more information, go to

Any restrictions on voting?
Voters must use their own email address when registering to vote. Email addresses must be valid. The system we are using has a complex system to help eliminate potential voter fraud. Any votes that trigger the system are reviewed. Votes that cannot be verified or show signs that they may be fraudulent are eliminated.

What about paper ballots?
After much discussion and evaluation, we decided to eliminate paper ballots this year. Last year, we found it impossible to verify the validity of the paper ballot we received. Because our online platform has numerous security features that help prevent voter fraud, we are strictly going with it.

Any restrictions on who can win?
Any business or individual who does not provide a good representation of Benchmark Media, Harrisburg Magazine or the competition may be determined to be ineligible and eliminated from the competition at any time. Also, any business that has demonstrated an unwillingness to follow the rules of the competition may be eliminated.

Why do you require business to register?
We added the registration process this year to help us resolve a number of issues we had last year. One of the biggest issues we had is notifying the winners. We had hundreds to contact last year and it was difficult finding contact information for some of them.

So this year we decided to require businesses to register. It’s free and just requires them to put in some basic information about the business. We don’t feel it is too much to ask a business to provide their contact information to us. We do not sell our email lists and will only be using the information for this competition.

What are you doing about businesses that are using customer emails to vote?
Thankfully, this only happened a few times last year. This year we plan on being a little harsher in how we deal with businesses that repeatedly commit voter fraud. The platform we use, Second Street, is well-versed in identifying and eliminating many of the ways companies attempt to commit voter fraud. We also validate all emails used to vote to ensure they are valid and confirm votes cast randomly to help ensure we have the most honest and valid competition we can.