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Two Lehigh Valley shops in running for national independent business award

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Let's Play Books is in Emmaus. (Contributed)
Let's Play Books is in Emmaus. (Contributed)

Two Lehigh Valley businesses are among 10 businesses across the country that are in the running for the $50,000 “Indie Award.”

The “Indie Award” is a promotion of the Virginia Beach-based Independent We Stand organization that promotes the importance of small, independent businesses to the nation’s economy.

Ju-Ju Monkey of Allentown and Let’s Play Books of Emmaus are finalists for the seventh annual “Indie Award.”

They were chosen for the impact they have on their communities and by votes cast by customers and supporters.

“Our goal with the indie awards is to highlight small businesses that are doing great things in their communities,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “Small-business owners live in the community that their business is in. This makes them more vested in the community and involved.”

The winner will receive a prize package worth $50,000, which includes $5,000 cash, $1,000 for a local business support organization of the winner’s choice, $1,000 of Stihl outdoor power equipment and marketing services that can include anything from a logo redesign to a new website or marketing campaign.

“This is good for them, because the businesses can’t always afford these things on their own,” Brunelle said.

Jim Hess, who co-owns Let’s Play Books with his wife, Kirsten, said Ju-Ju Monkey, a retailer of baby and children’s products, nominated the shop for the award.

He said they’re keeping their fingers crossed for both businesses.

“We’re really grateful not just to Ju-Ju Monkey but to all our customers who supported us,” he said.

The winner will be announced Wednesday morning.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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