2016 FAQs/Terms and Conditions




Voting for 2016 BONS Readers’ Choice Awards begins February 1st and ends May 1st. Winners will be mentioned in the annual BONS issue of Northshore (due out in early July) alongside Editors’ Choice for the same categories. Nominees may be added for consideration as write-ins through February 7, 2016. All nominees are subject to approval. Online voting is for Readers’ Choice only. Northshore editors and the BONS committee select Editors’ Choice BONS winners separately from the Readers’ Choice winners. 

Terms & Conditions/What's New:

- Only local nominees and winners: In the past, we have allowed regional or national chains to qualify as nominees. Beginning in 2015, only local organizations and locally owned franchises will be qualified nominees. If you have any questions about your business or organization's eligibility, please contact us at BONS@nshoremag.com.

- One-week period for nominee add-ons: This year, we have added all eligible write-ins from 2015 voting to the initial ballot. As such, we will not add any new nominees to the category dropdown menus after February 7, 2016. Please note, new write-ins that are added to the ballot are added to the end of the list and not in alphabetical order.

- Disqualification for buying votes: In the past, some establishments have traded votes for services or discounts. This is not allowed. If we see a marketing mailer, website ad, social media post, etc., that offers a discount or free service with proof of a vote, we will remove your organization from the nomination forms.

- Individual locations: Businesses with multiple locations will be recognized by the specific location. For example, if a business has locations in Salem, Peabody, and Andover, each location will have it's own nomination.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How did you select the businesses for the drop-down menu?

A: The top vote recipients and eligible write-in nominees from 2015 voting were used to populate the drop-down menus. Write-in candidates will be added based upon editorial approval through February 7, 2016.

Q: How can I add my business to the drop-down list?

A: Once your business is submitted as a write-in, it will be added to the drop-down during our next site update. No additional nominees will be added after February 7, 2016. All nominees are subject to editorial approval.

Q: Why is there no 'submit' button? How do I know my vote was counted?

A: All votes are automatically saved in the backend ballot system. You may change your vote at any time throughout the voting period. You will know what your vote in each category is because the icon will change from the red "Vote" button to the green "Voted!!" button.

Q: Can I leave the survey and return later to complete it?

A: Yes, you may return to the survey at any time during the voting period to change your vote.

Q: If I exit the survey without saving, will my answers still be there?

A: Yes, votes are automatically saved in the ballot.

Q: Can I encourage my friends, family, patrons to vote for my business?

A: Yes, of course! Please share BONS voting via any of the social sharing tools on the voting page. We also have a BONS Resources page full of banner ads, logos, and social headers. But, please remember that you cannot buy votes by offering something in exchange for a vote. If you have any questions about how to campaign for votes, please email BONS@nshoremag.com.

Q: Do votes have to come from only people who live on the North Shore?

A: No, people can vote from anywhere in the world. Votes are not limited to only people currently residing on the North Shore.

Q: How are votes counted? Can I vote more than once for the same establishment?

A: Votes are tallied by the amount of unique votes each business receives. You are not allowed to vote for the same subcategory more than once.

Q: Why do I have to enter my email address to vote?

A: Our system requires a verifiable email address for each vote to ensure that all votes for each category are unique.

Q: What if I did not receive a confirmation email after I registered?

A: Please check your SPAM filter or junk file. If you still do not have a confirmation, email us at BONS@nshoremag.com from the email address you are trying to register.

Q: Why is sub-category ABC not included as a BONS category?

A: Each year sub-categories change. To establish which categories are to be used for the current year, the BONS team looks at previous years’ votes and ongoing business trends. Unfortunately, when it comes to changing sub-categories there is a limit to how many additional ones can be added.

Q: What happened to the NEST category?

A: This year, we have added two new BONS Awards, one of which is the first annual BONS Home Awards, as part of our new magazine, Northshore Home. Voting begins this summer.

Q: Can you add a sub-category this year? Next year?

A: Categories and sub-categories cannot be changed or added this year, however the BONS team always takes suggestions into consideration. This year, we added more than a dozen new sub-categories, including Cookies and Distillery, and an entirely new category: Mingle.

Q: When will winners be announced?

A: Voting is open through May 1st. Winners are announced in the BONS issue of Northshore magazine, which will mail out and appear on newsstands in mid-July.

Q: What is the difference between Readers' Choice and an Editors' Choice Awards?

A: Readers’ Choice Awards are those establishments who receive the most votes via our open, online voting system. Editors’ Choices are selected by our internal team based on research and site visits. This year, Readers' Choice winners will get more recognition in the BONS issue!

Q: I commented at Facebook, twitter, or at your website. Does that count as a vote?

A: No, only actual votes via the drop down submission process will be counted. But, we encourage comments so that other voters can see why you think your nominee is the Best of the North Shore!