Marla Drutz

WDIV-TV (Detroit)’s annual Vote 4 the Best almost didn’t happen this year, after being a tradition for nearly 15 years. The competition involves thousands of local businesses in the Metro Detroit area and many of them were closed due to the pandemic and the station wasn’t sure if anyone would want to participate.  After Governor Gretchen Whitmer eased COVID-19 restrictions, the station decided to give it a try as many businesses were to reopen after months of being closed.

So the station called it our “Celebration” edition because they began to see a ray of hope that things were beginning to turn around. And with that, they did something new this year because they wanted to help support local businesses.  WDIV offered more than $100,000 in free digital advertising on their website, ClickOnDetroit.com, to 15 winners who got the most votes in 15 main categories. Each business receiving $7500 in digital advertising.

Vice-President and General Manager Marla Drutz said, “Small businesses make up a big part of the heart and soul of southeastern Michigan. And it’s imperative that small businesses survive. We’re hopeful that these grants can help these businesses grow.”

There were a record number of participants this year — almost a thousand new businesses joined the contest and more people than ever voted to support their favorite places around town.  The winners were announced on the station’s 5 p.m. newscast July 23:

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