Indie Award nominations underway
One independent retail winner will receive a $25,000 branding and public relations makeover.
Independent We Stand is again inviting business owners and the public to promote the importance and economic benefits of “buying local” through the 8th annual Indie Award.
The contest provides a winning independent business to reinvest in themselves through a branding, advertising, and public relations makeover valued at $25,000. The web-driven small business of the year contest also gives supporters the opportunity to acknowledge businesses that exceed customer service expectations and also grow their local economies.
“With small business optimism at a record high, consumers have a chance to boost that positive outlook even more through this contest,” says Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “We want to help bolster the efforts to grow small business, just like our members do every day in their communities, by giving customers a platform to recognize their favorite indie businesses. The bottom line: we all win when small businesses succeed and people buy local.”
Anyone can nominate and vote for a small business online at IndieBizAward.com.
Voting begins as soon as a business is nominated. Consumers can vote a maximum of 3 times per 24-hour period from the same IP address. Any locally owned and operated business in the U.S. is eligible to enter the contest.
The nomination phase and initial voting run through Nov. 11. Semifinalist voting begins Nov. 19 and ends on Dec. 16. The announcement of the Indie Award winner will be made on Dec. 19.
Stihl Inc., the outdoor power equipment manufacturer, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and the presenting sponsor of the award.
Stihl’s business strategy includes never selling its products at big box stores. Rather, the company sells its products through more than 9,000 independent retailers nationwide.
Additional supporting sponsors include Do it Best Corp. and PPG Paints.
Simpson Strong-Tie Deck-Drive plug recognized
Deck-Drive DCU screw plug solution Pro Tool Innovation Award.
Simpson Strong-Tie has received a Pro Tool Innovation Award (PTIA) in the Specialty Drill Bits category for the Simpson Strong-Tie Deck-Drive DCU screw plug solution.
The company was also recognized as a finalist in the Drill/Driver Attachments category for its Quik Drive PRODW drywall system, a lightweight auto-feed screw driving system designed to help complete drywall installations more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Launched by Simpson Strong-Tie in April 2018, the DCU screw plug solution is a complete hidden deck-fastening system and was selected as a PTIA category winner based on its high level of industry innovation. Comprising the Simpson Strong-Tie premium DCU Composite screw, the DCU screw plug and an Auto-Set Driver bit (each sold separately), the Deck-Drive DCU screw plug solution provides a comprehensive and convenient solution to the problem of exposed fasteners and enables builders to achieve a strong connection with a clean, professional look.
“Simpson Strong-Tie is pleased to receive recognition from the Pro Tool Innovation Awards judges for both the Deck-Drive DCU screw plug solution and the Quik Drive PRODW drywall system,” said Simpson Strong-Tie product manager Scott Park. “Technology has enabled a faster pace of construction tool innovation that still requires significant research and development and testing to ensure the highest levels of quality and value, and Simpson Strong-Tie is proud to be recognized among the extremely tough competitors included in this year’s awards.”
According to the organizers, the Pro Tool Innovation Awards annually recognizes best-in-class products determined by a panel of judges to be “ahead of their time.” This year, nearly 300 tool entries from more than 60 manufacturers competed across several categories to be recognized as a finalist based on a combination of innovative features, advanced power delivery, groundbreaking ergonomics, technological advancements and value.
Based in Pleasanton, Calif., Simpson Strong-Tie manufactures and provides structural connectors, fasteners, and building solutions.
Walmart warns of tariffs, price increases
Walmart warns that American consumers could pay the price from increased tariffs on Chinese goods.
The nation’s largest retailer has sounded the alarm that American consumers are the ones that could suffer the most due to expanded tariffs placed on goods and parts bought from China.
In a letter dated Sept. 6 sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Walmart warned that it may have to raise prices of products if the Trump Administration goes through with its latest round of proposed tariffs. The letter had no impact on the administration, however. On Sept. 17, it went ahead with 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China. The tariffs, which go into effect Sept. 24, will jump to 25% at the end of this year.
“As the largest retailer in the United States and a major buyer of U.S. manufactured goods, we are very concerned about the impacts these tariffs would have on our business, our customers, our suppliers and the U.S. economy as a whole,” Walmart wrote in the letter.
The retailer went on to warn that if the tariffs go into effect, its customers will face cost increases for such items as car seats, cribs, backpacks, hats, pet products and bicycles. And it noted that “either consumers will pay more, suppliers will receive less, retail margins will be lower, or consumers will buy fewer products or forego purchases altogether.”
Walmart is by no means alone in voicing its criticism of the escalating trade war with China. The retail’s industry major associations, including the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and more than 100 organizations recently launched a multi-industry coalition — Americans for Free Trade — aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefits of international trade to the U.S. economy.
Hun Quach, VP of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, commented that consumers — not China — will bear the brunt of the tariffs.
“We are disappointed to see that warnings from importers and exporters representing every sector of the U.S. economy have not been heeded with no time for mitigation,” Quach said. “… While we support the Administration’s goal of holding our trade partners accountable, American families, not China, will be paying a new tax on everything from toilet paper to home goods to furniture and pet supplies.”