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NORTHAMPTON — Alignable, an online networking platform for business owners, invited its more than 8.7 million members to shout out local business leaders who have gone above and beyond guiding peers and supporting entire communities amid challenging economic conditions.

The network announced that Judy Herrell of Herrell’s Ice Cream has again been elected Northampton’s 2024 Businessperson of the Year.

Alignable’s 2024 Local Businessperson of the Year contest reached unparalleled participation levels, logging more than 309,000 votes, more than 64,000 recommendations, and more than 5,100 local winners across the U.S. and Canada. It was most popular competition Alignable has hosted in more than five years, marking a 40% jump in participation over 2023.

Winners were commended for helping their peers and communities through a year with many challenges, including rising interest rates and rents, not to mention skyrocketing supply costs.

“In our local business community, we look out for each other to help make everyone in town as successful as possible, and the challenges we’re all encountering compel many of us to offer counsel to peers fighting to keep their businesses afloat,” Herrell said. “While I’m thrilled to receive this award, it’s really a testament to our entire Northampton business community.”