Last month, we profiled the 10 small businesses who were finalists in QuickBooks‘ Small Business, Big Game contest. Now, three finalists have been chosen, one of which will win the grand prize: a 30-second commercial paid for by QuickBooks that will air on February 7, 2016, during the CBS telecast of Super Bowl 50. According to Business Insider, a 30-second commercial during the telecast will cost $5 million.


UPDATE: Be sure to check out the videos we’ve added from each of the finalists. These homemade gems make most Super Bowl ads look lame.


Top Three Finalists

  • Chubbies Shorts of San Francisco: Produces comfortable, flexible shorts with a commitment to American manufacturing and inclusivity.
  • Death Wish Coffee Company of Round Lake, N.Y.: Roasts and packs what some call the world’s strongest coffee, using a unique blend of beans from around the world.
  • Vidler’s 5 & 10 of East Aurora, N.Y.: Provides a one-of-a-kind customer experience and wide variety of merchandise in one of the largest five-and-dime stores in the world.

(More about each finalist below.)


How They Made it to The Final 3

The top three finalists made it to the top through their voter appeal and a “criteria” established by QuickBooks. They collectively obtained hundreds of thousands of votes, surpassing the other seven finalists. The grand prize winner will be announced in January. The two runners-up will each receive $25,000, as well as local media and advertising valued at up to $15,000. The seven other finalists each receive a $10,000 prize as well as a congratulatory ad in their local paper, while the accountants of all 10 finalists receive $10,000 in local advertising. (Note: You read that correctly. The accountants of each finalist wins $10,000 in advertising. Remember: The sponsor is accounting software.)


More About the Finalists

While all ten finalists were impressive, we must admit that we think the top three are especially great: A multi-generation family business that still uses the numbers 5 & 10 in its name. A take-no-prisoner’s coffee company with a product that tastes great but provides an instant buzz (we know, as we described earlier, we ordered a pound and tried it out). An online merchant that created a niche and owns it through savvy marketing of a quality product.


We Love These Small Businesses

Vidler’s 5 & 10

East Aurora, NY | Vidlers5and10.com

About Vidler’s 5 & 10

Historic and nostalgic, one might think after 85 years with the same family, in the same town and at the same location we could lose our passion. But our business has always been and will always be an active part of our community, and our customers aren’t just numbers to us, but are our friends, neighbors and classmates. We might be an “old fashion” business, but embracing social media and having fun at work is attracting a new audience that is delighted by an entertaining shopping experience that can’t be duplicated on-line and doesn’t exist at the ‘big box’ stores.


 Death Wish Coffee Company

Round Lake, NY | DeathWishCoffee.com

About Death Wish Coffee Company

Home of the World’s Strongest Coffee! Two years ago, you could find me in the basement of my coffee shop, testing and tasting to create a coffee stronger than the rest. Today, we are a tight-knit team of nine, roasting and packing the world’s strongest coffee. We work tirelessly to share our passion of not only strong coffee, but the motivation and productivity that come along with it. Some may say coffee this strong is irresponsible. We like to think of it as revolutionary.


Chubbies Shorts

San Francisco, CA | ChubbiesShorts.com

About Chubbies Shorts

Sky’s Out, Thighs Out. That’s been the mantra ever since the Summer of 2011. Basically a jetpack time-machine disguised as a clothing company, we built Chubbies Shorts to propel men out of the age of capris & shants, and back to the boldly-radical shorts-era epitomized in the 80s by guys like Larry Bird, Tom Selleck, John McEnroe, and everyone’s Dad. Differentiated by our commitment to American manufacturing, support of our Armed Forces, and devotion to/from our ever growing 1.75M member Chubster Nation, we believe this Shorts-Breathing Dragon (dba: Chubbies Shorts) is just beginning to stir.