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Ann Ringlein

Ann Ringlein, store manager at Lincoln Running Company, sits among a mountain of running shoes in the back room last year. The business is one of four from Lincoln nominated for the 2018 Nebraska Retail Champion award.

Four Lincoln retailers and two from Hickman are among 21 nominated statewide for the Nebraska Retail Federation's Retail Champion award.

Big Red Tire Pros, Four Star Card & Gift Gallery, Habitat and Lincoln Running Company, along with J Boutique and Sugar Bee in Hickman, join 15 other nominees for the 2018 award, which is given to three retail businesses — one from each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts.

The three winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 America’s Retail Champion competition in Washington D.C., Sept. 5-6. The competition is sponsored by the National Retail Federation.

“All of the nominees are in fact local champions who generously support their local communities and are succeeding in spite of keen competition," Jim Otto, president of the Nebraska Retail Federation, said in a news release. "They embody the fighting spirit of American small business, and narrowing it down to three is going to be tough."

The other nominees for the award are: Blue Pomegranate Gallery, Omaha; C & L Hardware, Ashland; Chocolaterie Stam, Papillion; Clabaugh Pharmacy, Beatrice; Knowlen & Yates, McCook; Master’s Hand, Tekamah; McIntosh Jewelry Store, O'Neill; Nebraska Crossing Outlets, Gretna; Posh Princess & Prince, Omaha; Renegade Stores, Norfolk; RockOn Olde Towne, Bellevue; Tall Tree Tastings, Beatrice; The Bike Rack, Omaha; The Thrift Connection, North Platte; and VK Electronics, McCook.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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