BOSS Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Nomination Round work?

The Nomination Round takes place from January 12th to February 4th at 11 pm and is purely based on write-ins. 

Do businesses have to pay to be represented on the ballot?

No! The Best of the South Shore results are based 100 percent on the public’s nominations and votes. We provide this ballot as a service to help promote small businesses on the South Shore. There is no fee to participate and being an advertiser does not guarantee a win.

Then what’s the deal with the ads on the ballot?

We offer BOSS advertising packages which include ad spots on the ballot, ads in the magazine, and ads across our website, These advertising packages give businesses more exposure but do NOT guarantee anything for the contest. Reach out for more information.

Why is my nomination not showing up on the ballot?

Nominations are collected by our software during the Nomination Round but no entries will be made public until the Voting Round. The top 5 businesses that receive the most nominations will move on to the Voting Round. In certain cases, when a small number of businesses are nominated in a category, fewer than five will advance.

How specific do I need to be when nominating?

The more accurate the better. Please use the correct business name when nominating and be specific if you are nominating a person. For example, if you’re nominating “John” for Best Bartender, please specify “John Smith at The Tinker’s Son.” Another example: if you’re nominating a business that has more than one location on the South Shore, please specify the town.  Companies with more than one location may be combined.

I missed the nomination round this year. How can I be more prepared next time?

Sign up for our emails. We’ll send you occasional emails with important BOSS information.

How many times can I nominate a business?

You may cast one nomination per category.

How does the Voting Round work?

The five businesses that receive the most nominations in each category advance during the Nomination Round will move on to the Voting Round. Voting takes place February 19 - March 10.

How many times can I vote for a business?

You may vote once per day per category.

What happened to that one category from last year? 

Every year, we take a close look at the categories from the previous year's ballot. Some categories get added based on reader feedback/suggestions. Others are dropped due to low engagement. Some categories are combined. Some are reworded for clarity. We do our best to consider the impact of these changes, but we’d like to hear from you if you have comments or suggestions. Please email those messages to [email protected]

How can I promote my business to get nominations/votes?

Click HERE for our free graphics, marketing tips, and advertising packages.

Can nominees be based outside of the South Shore?

We consider nominations for any businesses in the coastal region south of Boston to Cape Cod.

Can chain stores and franchises be nominated, or is it only for locals?

We love to see locally-owned small businesses shine, however, some categories just don’t have many locally owned businesses. It’s up to the voters to say what they support.

I don’t have time to fill out the whole ballot right now. Can I come back later and do more?

Yes! As long as you’ve already registered (entered your email address on the form on your first nomination or vote), you can pick up where you left off. When you return to the ballot on the same device, you should be automatically logged in and able to see your previous selections. If you aren’t logged in and you know that you’ve already registered, click the “Already entered?” link at the top of the ballot, then enter the email address you previously used.

Why do I have to make an account?

Our ballot software requires that users create an account to track your selections. This helps us guard against fraudulent voting and allows you to revisit the ballot before the deadline to make changes and additional nominations. There is no password needed!

How do I find out who the winners are?

Winners will be announced online in June and in the Summer issue of South Shore Home, Life & Style, which is available on most newsstands. Subscribe now to get the BOSS issue delivered right to your door.

Will there be a BOSS party in 2024?

Yes! We are planning to have an in-person event in the summer of 2024. Subscribe to our newsletters and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Which honorees will be featured in the BOSS Summer Issue?

Our Summer Issue will feature BOSS winners more prominently than ever before. BOSS winners and 1 runner-up for every category will be listed in the Summer 2024 Issue.

When will finalists and winners be notified?

We do our best to notify finalists in early February (typically by email) prior to the Voting Round. We begin to notify winners in late March. We ask winners to keep their good news a secret until the winners are announced publicly (in June). Be sure to be on our email list so we have some contact information about you.

Why wasn’t I notified that I was a finalist or a winner?

With hundreds of categories and thousands of contenders, it’s a challenge to maintain an up-to-date list of contact information. If the Nomination and/or Voting Round has ended and we haven't contacted you yet, please fill out this form and we'll let you know your status (if you've been named a finalist or winner). If you know your status, feel free to send us your best contact name, email address, mailing address, and phone numbers at [email protected] so we can keep you in the loop.