Do you own one of the country’s coolest pet businesses? Enter our 2022 contest! Now with more cool! This year, we’re expanding eligibility to better reflect the many different types of businesses that help make the pet industry so cool. START YOUR ENTRY EARLY-BIRD DEADLINE: APRIL 1 FINAL DEADLINE: APRIL 15 TIPS FOR A WINNING ENTRY Want to learn how to create a winning entry? Get step-by-step information on how to increase your chances at becoming one of America’s Coolest pet businesses. Click on the images below. TIP 1: GET YOUR CONTEST ENTRY IN GREAT SHAPE TIP 2: BEFORE YOU START TIP 3: BASIC INFO AND STATS TIP 4: YOU GOTTA STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD TIP 5: FINE-TUNE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE TIP 6: PHOTOS REALLY ARE WORTH AT LEAST A THOUSAND WORDS TIP 7: HERE’S WHAT YOU SAY (OR RATHER, WRITE) TIP 8: THE REST OF THE STORY 2022 RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS ELIGIBILITY Entrants must: Be a U.S. brick-and-mortar pet store with or without services, a U.S. brick-and-mortar service provider with or without retail; or a service provider without a brick-and-mortar location, such as mobile groomers and pet sitters. Bottom line: Manufacturers and distributors are not eligible. We still love you, though, and plan to come up with a contest for you, too! Cater directly to consumers. Have been open at least a year prior to entering. Have 10 or fewer locations or mobile units. Have not previously been featured in America’s Coolest. EXCEPTION: Previous winners may enter if their winning location has been substantially renovated, modified or expanded since being featured in PETS+. TO ENTER CLICK HERE to create a Submittable account. Doing so will allow you to save a draft of your entry and update it later as needed. (To access your entry after creating an account, use your email address and password under Log In.) In order to be considered for the competition, entrants must complete all required fields in the entry form (general information, online presence and business stats) and submit the following materials: 1. Story: Business history. Entrants are required to answer one question — “Tell us your business history,” in which you share the basic details of how your business came to be. Entrants also can choose which additional questions they’d like to answer about their business — with a MINIMUM of four of eight questions required. Here are the questions: What’s cool about the physical design of your business? What’s cool about your staff? And/or how you support them? What’s cool about your digital presence? What’s cool about your marketing? What’s cool about your community presence? What’s cool about the operational or structural part of your business? What’s cool about your customer experience? What’s one out-of-the-box idea you have implemented in the past year? Finally, there’s an extra credit question that allows you to tell us something about your business that we haven’t asked. 2. Three to 12 color, high-resolution images of the business’s exterior. (JPEG files only, up to 20MB in size.) 3. Six to 12 color, high-resolution images of the business’s interior. (JPEG files only, up to 20MB in size.) 4. One to three color, high-resolution photos of your business’s owners. (JPEG files only, up to 20MB in size.) NOTE: We HIGHLY recommend you have your business professionally photographed, and entries will not be considered complete if low-resolution (web-quality) images are submitted. Please aim for 4 by 6 inches at 350 dpi. 5. Marketing samples. Three to 12 examples of your print, radio, billboards, stationery and collateral. (Image files should be JPEG or PDF format, up to 20MB in size.) Until April 15, 2022, you may log in to edit and submit your entry by going to petsplusmag.com/enter and clicking on “LOG IN.” If you forget your password, click on the link in the “LOG IN” page to request it. JUDGING METHODOLOGY Step 1: PETS+ editors will verify eligibility and rate each eligible business from 0-100 in six categories — story, exterior appearance, interior, marketing, online presence and individuality — to determine finalists. Step 2: A panel of industry experts and previous winners will rate each finalist from 0-100 in the same six categories. Step 3: Winners will be determined by combining and ranking all scores. WINNERS Winners will be notified in July. The businesses will be named in the July-August issue of PETS+ and featured in the magazine through May-June 2023. Entering the contest indicates an understanding that a writer will interview the business’s owner or manager and that the business has submitted high-resolution images of the business and owner(s) for publication. Winners will be permitted to use the America’s Coolest logo in their promotional materials, indicating they have been chosen as such by PETS+ magazine. There will also be certificates and trophies! MEET THE 2021 WINNERS Read online profiles of our 2021’s America’s Coolest pet businesses, which appeared/will appear in the July-August 2021 through May-June 2022 editions of PETS+.