As part of our annual Small Business Week event in June, the Montana District Office recognizes a Montana Small Business Person of the Year and we are currently seeking nominations for this award.
The Small Business Person must be an individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four. A nominee for Small Business Person of the Year must own or operate a business defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards. Individuals who have received the Small Business Person Award at the State level within the past five years are not eligible. Nominees must also be residents of the United States or its territories and will be subject to background checks. Small businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws. While receipt of SBA assistance is not required, it is preferred.
The Montana District Office will be recognizing Small Business Person(s) of the Year in the following categories:
- Fewer than 10 employees
- 10-29 employees
- 30-50 employees
More than 50 employees.
We will have one overall State Small Business Person of the year, who could fit in any of those categories. Only the overall State Small Business Person will go on to compete at the National Small Business Week event in Washington, D.C.
Deadline for nominations is January 11. Please contact Crystal Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in nominating a Small Business Person.
SCORE Small Business Blog: Show Your Customers You're Thankful for Them
It’s the season to be thankful, and as a small business owner, I bet one thing you’re thankful for this year is your customers. After all, without them, you couldn’t make a profit, grow your business or achieve your dreams of independence and freedom.
But do you let your customers know just how thankful you are for their business? There’s no time like the present. Here are some ideas for giving thanks to your customers:
- Send a thank-you note. It may sound corny, but these days, a handwritten thank-you note really makes a big impression. Set aside 15 minutes a day to write notes telling customers why you appreciate them and how much you enjoy working together.
- Hold an event for your best customers. It could be a luncheon hosted by your business, a late-night shopping event after your store closes down to the public or a free seminar where you show them how to do something. The point is to make them feel valued and special.
> Read more
The Montana District Office has deployed monthly webinars focused on various topics that are of interest of our local small businesses. The webinars are scheduled for the 4th Wednesday of every month from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (Mountain Time). In October we had guest Amanda Schultz from the Montana Women's Business Center, who talked about Business Resources and Opportunities for Women and in November, Julie Jaksha, Butte Small Business Development Center Director talked about what to expect when approaching a lender for small business financing.
These webinars are designed to allow 30-40 minutes of presentation time and then at least 20 minutes for Q&A, so bring your questions and have them answered by experts across the state.
Continue to watch our newsletters and our Montana Events Calendar for the monthly webinar featured speaker and topic. December's webinar will be on December 19 (date switch due to Christmas) and will focus on "How to Develop Business Plan Financial Projections".
Montana District Office Welcomes New 8(a) Firms
The Montana District Office welcomed two new firms into the 8(a) Federal Contracting Program.
BioSeal, LLC of Livingston was certified into the program on May 1, 2012. BioSeal's primary services are roofing, drywall, insulation, polyurethane coatings and energy efficiency program designs.
Wharton Asphalt, LLC in Billings enterered the program on July 13, 2012. Wharton provides asphalt paving, site development, concrete, road building, excavation, chip and crack seal, and striping and patching asphalt.
The 8(a) program is a nine-year business development program for small businesses where the owner(s) fit the SBA's criteria of being socially and economically disadvantaged and the same owners control the firm. The 8(a) program helps these firms develop their business and provides them with access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace. It also provides specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance and high-level executive development to its participants.
> For more information on the 8(a) program read here.