Yolanda Garcia Olivarez
The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking successful and inspiring entrepreneurs for 2014 Small Business Awards. Nominations are due Jan. 17, 2014.
This is the time to honor an outstanding entrepreneur in your area. Small business owners are so important to the strength of our country, and these awards provide an opportunity to celebrate their success. Each day these men and women overcome obstacles with creativity and perseverance, and help create jobs for themselves and others.
Your State Small Business Person of the Year will be selected based on staying power as evidenced by a minimum three years in business, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, innovativeness of product or service, response to adversity and contributions to community-oriented projects.
The State award winner will go on to compete for the National Small Business Person of the Year award. Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, may submit nominations, including trade and professional associations and business organizations.
I encourage you to submit a nomination for your favorite small business.
Nominations will also be accepted in the following categories in Region VI:
- National Small Business Exporter of the Year
- National 8(a) Graduate of the Year
- National Phoenix (Disaster Recovery) Awards
- SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Family-Owned Business of the Year
- Entrepreneurial Success Award
- Financial Services Champion of the Year
- Home-Based Business Champion of the Year
- Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
- Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
- Women in Business Champion of the Year
Nominees for these awards should fit the following general criteria:
National Small Business Exporter of the Year: An individual who owns and operates a small business engaged in exporting.
National 8(a) Graduate of the Year: This award recognizes a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the program for at least one year as of April 1, 2013. The firm does not have to currently be a small business.
National Phoenix Awards: These awards are given to those individuals (business owners, volunteers and public officials) whose efforts and contributions have enabled their business or communities to recover successfully from a disaster.
SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year: To be considered a young entrepreneur, the individual must serve as a majority owner and operate or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business with a three year track record, and who will not have reached the age of 30 by June 1, 2014.
Family-Owned Business of the Year: This award honors a family-owned and operated business which has been passed on from one generation to the next. The owner must also serve as a majority owner and operator or bear principal responsibility with at least a 15-year track record.
Entrepreneurial Success Award: Individuals must own and operate businesses initially launched as small according to SBA size standards and subsequently developed into large businesses; and they must have received SBA assistance to help the businesses grow.
The following Champion award nominees may or not be small business owners:
Financial Services Champion of the Year: An individual who assists small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services.
Home-Based Business Champion of the Year: An individual who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a home-based business and has volunteered to improve the climate for these businesses may be nominated.
Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: An individual who has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities for minority business owners.
Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year: An individual who has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities for veterans of the U.S. armed forces may be nominated. Nominees may or may not be veterans.
Women in Business Champion of the Year: An individual who has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership may be nominated.
Nominations should be submitted to the District Office, below, closest to you. Nominations for National Awards can also be submitted online.