VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Nearly 22,000 votes were cast for 315 nominees during the nominations phase of the 2015 Independent We Stand Independent Small Business of the Year Award. For the fifth year, the national small business movement, has empowered Americans to honor the local businesses that make their communities unique. Three of the quarter-finalists are Stihl dealers: Carr Hardware, Mower Man Lawn Service and Mae Power Equipment.

Semifinalist voting runs through Dec. 13 at The winner of “The Indie” will be announced Dec. 16.

The 2015 quarter-finalists in alphabetical order are:

The winner of the 2015 Indie Award will receive a prize package valued at $10,000, which includes:

  • $5,000 grand prize
  • $1,000 Stihl equipment certificate. Stihl products are sold exclusively through local, independent servicing dealers and support more than 9,000 Stihl dealers in communities nationwide.
  • “Small Business Web Starter Package” from independent web design firm – The Meridian Group
  • Three days/two nights stay at an independent beach resort in Virginia Beach, Va. (valued at $1,000)
  • Plaque to display at winner’s business
  • Public relations and social media recognition
  • Quarter and semifinalists will receive a premium membership from Independent We Stand

For more information on “The Indie” or to vote for your favorite small business, visit

About Independent We Stand

Independent We Stand is a movement of independent business owners across the country to inform their communities about the importance of “Buying Local” and how these efforts bolster their local economy. This movement supports all local and national causes committed to boosting local economic development projects. The Independent We Stand movement is co-sponsored by Stihl Inc. and FCA US LLC.