With a population just north of 3,000, Wellsboro is now home to not just one, but two nationally-recognized small businesses. Dunham’s Department Store and From My Shelf Books & Gifts were named to the Top 25 at the conclusion of first round voting by loyal fans and customers to name the winner of the Independent We Stand Small Business of the Year Award for 2019.

Thousands of small businesses across the United States of America were originally nominated for this annual award. Round two voting began on Oct. 28 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17 with the Top 10 from those 25 being selected for judging to choose the grand prizewinner.

Why Wellsboro? Sure, Wellsboro has a beautiful, historic downtown, but it’s more than that. Wellsboro is still a place where people say hello as they walk down the street, or ask others if they need help.

These two businesses exemplify Wellsboro’s approach to people, offering tourists and locals alike great customer service and dedication to the community.

Part of this tradition is helping a neighbor carry a package to the car, or giving directions to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Dunham’s is one of the few remaining family-owned department stores in America. It carries home goods to perfume and makeup, men’s and women’s clothes, coats and shoes to belts, jewelry, and children’s toys to double espressos in its Café 1905 and more. This family-run store has been serving the community for four generations since it was originally founded in 1905. The owners of a big-box store don’t live in Wellsboro, but the Dunhams do. Times might have changed, but this store’s focus remains on service and the personal touch.

From My Shelf Books & Gifts has been rooted in Wellsboro for more than a decade. Owned and operated by Kevin and Kasey Cox Coolidge, this husband and wife team and their staff provide “book matchmaking” services that are second to none. They don’t sell books; they breathe and live books. Kevin Coolidge is also an award-winning children’s author, and the bookstore is home to Wellsboro’s most famous cats, Huck and Finn.

Help the rest of America discover these two stores and boost them to the Top 10. Visit www.IndieBizAward.com and click on “View Nominees.” Both of these businesses are on the front page. You can also find them on Facebook with links to vote and posts to entertain and inform.

Each person can vote 25 times a day per IP address at home, work and even from Café 1905 every day between now and Sunday, Nov. 17.

The names of the Top 10 semifinalists will be announced on Monday, Nov. 18. The overall winner to receive an enhanced prize package valued at $25,000 will be selected by a panel of judges and named on Monday, Nov. 25.