SBA Seeks Nominations for Arkansas Small Business Week Awards

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Arkansas SBA District Office

Nominate Arkansas Businesses & Champions!

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Arkansas District Office is seeking successful and inspiring entrepreneurs to represent Arkansas during the 2013 National Small Business Awards event hosted by the SBA.  Nominations are due January 3, 2013.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Arkansas’ economy,” said Linda Nelson, District Director of the Arkansas SBA Office.  “SBA recognizes their significant contributions each year through our Small Business Week activities and awards.  Please help us find these outstanding small business owners and other Arkansans who support small business in the state.” 

The Arkansas Small Business Person of the Year will be selected based on staying power as evidenced by a minimum of 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 Arkansas award winner will go on to compete for 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. 

The Arkansas District Office is also looking for nominations in the following categories:

1.                  Small Business Exporter of the Year

2.                  SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year

3.                  Arkansas Family-Owned Business of the Year

4.                  Entrepreneurial Success Award

5.                  Financial Services Champion of the Year

6.                  Home-Based Business Champion of the Year

7.                  Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

8.                  Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

9.                  Women in Business Champion of the Year

Nominees for these awards should fit the following criteria:

Small Business Exporter of the Year:  An individual who owns and operates a small business engaged in exporting.

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, 2013.

Arkansas 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 AwardIndividuals 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.

For more information, contact:

Carol Silverstrom, 501-324-7379, x227, carol.silverstrom@sba.gov