Since 2018, Little Village has given out annual Best of the CRANDIC awards to Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area residents, organizations and businesses chosen by LV readers as the best in a variety of categories. And even before the public announcement of this year’s winners, Little Village received confirmation the annual tradition is now firmly established, because someone with no connection to LV, far away from Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, is trying to make money off it.
Some previous winners have recently been contacted by a trophy shop in New Jersey that implies it’s working with Little Village to offer commemorative CRANDIC plaques. The somewhat pricey plaques even feature the competition’s logo, albeit one that’s now out-of-date. But let’s be clear: Little Village has no association with Regent Plaque & Signs. LV’s attorney has sent them a cease-and-desist letter.
Best of the CRANDIC winners receive a free framed certificate produced and distributed by Little Village. If LV were going to give out plaques, we’d purchase them locally; ordering awards from Ridgeway, New Jersey to celebrate the best of CR and IC would be in poor taste.
The CRANDICs aren’t the first local awards Regent has tried to make money from. In 2018, The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt weekly, published a story warning people that Regent was trying to sell plaques to winners of its “Best of Kansas City” awards.
This year’s CRANDIC winners will be featured in the next issue of Little Village, which starts hitting stands on Dec. 1.