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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Vote Berlin Best Small-Town Shopping

By Morgan Pilz

Contest open until June 29, and winner announced July 10

(June 11, 2020) Berlin has been nominated as one of 18 candidates for “Best Small Town for Shopping” as part of the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice competition this month.

USA Today has selected 18 small towns from across America that have less than 25,000 residents that are known for their antique shops, boutiques and local farmers markets among other aspects.

According to Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells, this is not the first time Berlin has been nominated for this competition.

The competition will run until the end of the month

“I found out about it a couple of weeks ago when I received an e-mail from USA Today saying that we were in the contest,” she said. “We won it a few years ago, actually, and so to be nominated again is flattering.”

The town placed first the competition in 2018, and is currently ranked first again.

Residents can vote every day for Berlin to compete against 17 other small towns across the nation for the distinction.

“For those of us who know how expensive advertising is, this is a boost for our business community and for our downtown retail community,” Wells said.

More importantly, this competition is happening after the country went through three months of closed or reduced business because of coronavirus health-safety restrictions.

“I think it’s a boost for our downtown merchants during this time of when everyone’s coming back and when people are looking to be able to come out of their houses again,” Wells said. “To have this national attention brings more and more people to our to our businesses downtown.”

In the past few years, Berlin has done well with online competitions. According to the town’s website, in 2018 Berlin was also named Best Small Town in America by USA Today, Best Budget Destination in America by Budget Travel Magazine, Maryland’s Most Beautiful Small Town by House Beautiful Magazine, Best Small Towns in America for Valentine’s Day, and was one of 21 of the Best Small Towns in America by Architectural Digest.

Voting will be available every day from now until Monday, June 29. The winning small towns will be announced on on Friday, July 10.

“We want to maintain our first-place status throughout the contest,” Wells said. “I think it’s important to show how the community supports our local businesses. One way that you can support them is giving them the honor to be able to say that they are located in the town that is [recognized as] one of the best small towns for shopping by USA Today.”

Residents can vote at or go to the town’s Facebook page, or the special Facebook voting page Vote for Berlin: Best Small Town for Shopping.