Best of the Heights voting opens Feb. 1

Beginning Feb. 1, Heights residents can show their appreciation for locally owned, independent businesses by voting for their favorites in the FutureHeights 2023 Best of the Heights awards.

Since 2005, FutureHeights has conducted the Best of the Heights awards as a way to recognize the unique attributes of Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy.

"FutureHeights is always proud to support and celebrate our local merchants with the 'Best of the Heights' awards," said Micah Kirman, FutureHeights' interim executive director. "Our quality independent businesses add so much to the health and vitality of our community, and the incredible merchants, who operate them so well, deserve to be recognized.”

Each year, Heights residents are invited to cast their votes for their favorite businesses by nominating them for awards in a variety of categories. This year’s ballot includes popular categories from previous years, as well as new categories that focus on specific services. 

Residents are encouraged to vote for their favorite businesses online at, or by using the paper ballot that will appear in the February and March print issues of the Heights Observer. (The ballot is on page 13 of the February issue.) 

Voting will conclude March 15, and winners will be announced in the May issue of the Heights Observer.

All locally owned Cleveland Heights and University Heights businesses are eligible to be nominated.

Each person who submits a valid ballot will qualify for a chance to win one of four packages of gift certificates to local businesses. Additional chances to win can be obtained by becoming a member of FutureHeights: two chances come with the $20 membership level, and six are a benefit of the $60 level.

All proceeds will help to cover the costs of the program. 

According to a study conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, each dollar spent at a locally owned, independent business returns three times more money to the local economy than one dollar spent at a chain store. Because local businesses are often owned by people who live in the community, those owners have a natural interest in the community’s long-term health, and many participate in community causes.

For more information, call the FutureHeights office at 216-320-1423, or send an e-mail to

Jessica Schantz

Jessica Schantz is the e-news and distribution manager at the Heights Observer, the office manager for FutureHeights, and a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights. 

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:59 AM, 01.31.2023