Last year 393 area businesses were recognized during the Empire-Tribune’s annual Best of Erath County contest and it’s back with nominations kicking off today on the E-T’s website.

Nominations will be taken through Saturday, March 24, at and the categories will range from best beauty and health to best dining, services, people and places, clothing and more. New categories this year will include best law enforcement official, firefighter and teacher.

Nominations will not be accepted after March 24.

After the nomination round ends, online voting will take place from April 14-28 and one vote per day will be accepted.

The winners will be revealed at a special Best of Erath County gala on Saturday, June 9, at Twisted J.

Businesses who would like to promote themselves in the Best of Erath contest may also purchase advertising, though it is not a requirement.

Among the prizes for businesses voted Best of Erath County in a respective category are:

• 50 percent off any retail advertising ad

• 15 percent off any print or digital ads that run six-months or longer, which will display Readers Choice Logos

• 75 percent off a year-long subscription for you or your business

• a free digital audit of your website

• 25 percent off a year-long, new subscription for your family and friends

• 50 percent off classified employment ad

• free online reputation monitoring for one year (a $660 value)

A magazine that includes all the winners in each category and photos from the awards gala will be published on July 22.

For questions about the Best of Erath contest or advertising, call 254-965-3124.