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Editor's note: This document was updated on Oct. 26.

In years past, we've gotten ripped for writing too much about the likes of Red Lobster and Barnes & Noble — our Best Of is a local competition, the argument goes, and thus should focus on local businesses. This year, we may get ripped for writing too little — after all, these "chain champions" earned your votes fair and square.

We see both sides of the argument, and have to buy into one of them. This year, we just decided on the more local-centric side.

But we have talked with some of the local people behind franchises or satellites here in the Springs. And it seems a shame not to acknowledge that many are fantastic neighbors.

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region is an obvious one. But I also talked with an assistant manager at Great Clips who told me the 15 local shops raised about $18,000 for Memorial's Children's Hospital last fall. Camp Bow Wow fosters puppies through Mill Dog Rescue and raises funds for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. There are others, too, of course.

Few of us need to be reminded that these are tough times. But most of us could, and probably should, consider that amid all the bad news out there, some business leaders — indie and otherwise — are doing more than their share to help. For that, we thank and honor them.

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