ENTER YOUR BUSINESS IN OUR 2024 CONTEST! Do you own one of the country’s coolest pet businesses? Our 2024 America’s Coolest contest recognizes the best in independent pet retailers and service providers. 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 2024 RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS ELIGIBILITY Entrants must: Be a U.S. brick-and-mortar pet store with or without services OR be a U.S. brick-and-mortar pet service provider with retail. Cater directly to consumers. Have been open at least one year prior to entering. Have 10 or fewer locations. Have NOT previously been featured as an America’s Coolest pet business. NOTE: Our goal is to shine a spotlight on as many different cool pet businesses as possible. So if you’ve won before, think of this as sharing the love with your fellow indie. You’ve had your time in the spotlight, now give others a chance. TO ENTER CLICK HERE to create an account. Doing so will allow you to save a draft of your entry and update it later as needed. In order to be considered for the competition, entrants must complete all required fields in the entry form and submit all required materials: 1. Business history and other questions Entrants must answer this question: “Tell us your business history,” in which you share the story of how your business came to be. Entrants also must answer four additional questions about their business, but they can choose which additional ones they’d like to answer. NOTE: FYI, past winners answered most if not all of the questions, providing the judges with many reasons to give them high scores. Here are the questions to choose from: What’s cool about the physical design of your business? What’s cool about your team? 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 you haven’t yet. 2. Two 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 — or at least photographed by a team member with outstanding skills; entries will not be considered complete if only 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, 2024, 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 to 100 in six categories — story, exterior, interior, marketing, digital presence and individuality — to determine finalists. Step 2: A panel of industry experts and previous winners will rate each finalist from 0 to 100 in the same six categories. Step 3: Winners will be determined by combining and ranking all scores. WINNERS Winners will be notified in June. The businesses will be named in the July-August issue of PETS+ and featured in the magazine through May-June 2025. 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! ENTER HERE MEET THE 2023 WINNERS Read online profiles of our 2023 America’s Coolest pet businesses, which appeared/will appear in the July-August 2023 through May-June 2024 editions of PETS+.