From the Editor

Every year in our July issue we have the chance to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the Island. I’m talking, of course, about our annual Best of the Vineyard contest, in which readers vote for their favorite businesses in categories ranging from burgers to builders, pizzas to plumbing contractors. It’s a fun issue to put together and an even more fun party that we throw to celebrate the awards and kick off the summer season. 
But there is only room in the magazine to announce the top two vote-getters in each category, which is something of a shame. Because for those of us who watch the progress of the contest throughout the year, what is even more astonishing than the fact that 93,551 individual votes were cast by more than 8,000 participants from all over the world is the range of nominated businesses in virtually every category. 
It may be no surprise to anyone that there are a lot of massage therapists on our little Island, but did you know you could have your latissimus dorsi worked over by a different pair of healing hands every week for a year and still not be able to vote with confidence? There are fifty-nine nominated. It’s a little easier with bakeries, of which forty-one were nominated, and bars at forty-eight. Forty-three plumbers and you’re still complaining you can’t find one? C’mon! Twenty-seven places selling men’s clothing and you’re clicking your money away to a billionaire in Seattle for your T-shirts? No comment.
On and on it goes, a record of an often unsung facet of Martha’s Vineyard that we all love. In addition to the natural beauty, the beaches and farms, the hammocks and backyard grills, the Island’s business community feels more like the rest of America used to feel. Martha’s Vineyard is a place where everyone and their aunt seems to hang out a shingle at some point and make a go of it. Will they all survive? Of course not: Rents are high, the season is short, workers can’t find places to live or get visas to come into the country. There are a lot of challenges.
So go out and support as many of our local entrepreneurs as you can. Do your research and vote for your favorites for next year. You have sixty hamburgers to eat between now and next spring, along with several dozen lobster rolls, and an absurd lineup of French fries. Fortunately for your heart and waistline, your fellow readers also nominated eighty-eight nature walks as their favorites. You better get walking: voting for Best of the Vineyard 2020 starts soon.