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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Fair
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Independents day

Now that summer is over and we're all getting back down to business, we can get to the business of business. Specifically, we can announce the first Isthmus Independent Business Awards, to be bestowed in November. Right now we're starting the process by taking nominations for deserving local contenders.

The Indies, as we're calling them, are designed to recognize independent business owners and operators as well as local performers and artists. The Isthmus Indies are being sponsored by Heartland Credit Union, with additional support from Dane County Buy Local. You'll have until Sept. 24 to make your nominations at

Nominations are being accepted in eight categories with snappy names: Market Spark, Fresh Food Friend, Green Angel, Heartland Hipster, Dynamic Developer, Neighborhood Notable, Bridge Builder and Dane and Beyond. Just how each of those categories is defined will be revealed to you at the above-mentioned website. You can also learn more at Isthmus' website,, where you'll find a link to the nomination page at Heartland. A panel of judges will determine the honorees in each category, who will be feted at a program to be held at the Eldorado Grill on Nov. 15.

The Isthmus Indie Awards are a logical extension of the burgeoning interest in individual enterprise and local focus. We've all heard many times that small businesses are the ones that truly power our economy. Well, it's time to honor that contention in the Madison/Dane County area. We're proud to be doing that in conjunction with our partners Heartland Credit Union and Dane County Buy Local. So hie yourself to the nominations page and begin recognizing those local entities that make Madison the special place that it is. The process awaits your input.

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