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About the Contest

Shaw Local News Network presents Best of the Illinois Valley! This year-round celebration recognizes the BEST Businesses, BEST People and BEST Places in the Illinois Valley! We want to know where you like to go – from your favorite burger or pizza place to where you recommend getting your car repaired. Nominate and vote for your favorites in over 160 categories! Let’s celebrate all the great local businesses we have in our communities and give them the recognition they deserve.

NEW this year: we will have ONE contest where our readers, listeners and fans will nominate and vote for their favorite local Illinois Valley businesses.

Best of the Illinois Valley nomination and voting areas include multiple cities across LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam counties, including:

When is it?

Nominations start on March 11, 2024, and run until March 29, 2024. Then, voting begins May 6, 2024, and ends May 24, 2024.

How are businesses nominated?

Nominations are collected through a write-in phase. From March 11 through March 29, listeners and readers will have the chance to nominate their favorite Illinois Valley businesses. Simply nominate your business name in the appropriate categories. Make sure to nominate often, as only the top five nominated businesses in each category will move on to the voting phase.

Do I have to advertise to be nominated or to win?

No. No purchase is necessary to participate in the competition or to win. We will tell you that advertising on our radio stations and in our newspapers helps because it is the best way to remind voters about your business and what category you’d like to be considered for.

What are the rules?

Nominations are limited to one nomination per category per day. Voting is limited to one vote per category per day. The purchase of advertising with Shaw Local Media does not affect the outcome of Best of the Illinois Valley results. Votes are counted and audited by an independent third party.

Why don't I see a category for my business?

As much as we’d like to have a category for every single business in the Illinois Valley, we try to keep the number of categories under 200 to make it more manageable and make Best of the Illinois Valley the best it can be.

Are there any restrictions on voting?

Voters must use their own email address when registering to vote. Email addresses must be valid. Votes that cannot be verified or show signs that they may be fraudulent will be eliminated.

Are there restrictions on who can win?

Winning businesses must be located within the Illinois Valley coverage area - Bureau, LaSalle, and Putnam Counties. Any business or individual who does not promote a good representation of Shaw Media or the competition may be determined to be ineligible and eliminated from the competition at any time. We reserve the right to remove any business from the competition for unwillingness to follow the rules of the competition.

Have any other questions? Send an email to