To-do list topper: small business award nomination

Pacific Northwest Region - Dec. 11, 2018

u s small business administration
National Small Business Week Awards - Are you the next winner?

Why a Small Business Week Award Nomination Should Top Your To-Do List

SBA Regional Administrator Jeremy Field

By Jeremy Field
SBA Regional Administrator, Pacific Northwest

As a small business owner, your to-do list is no joke. It can often feel as if two new tasks appear for every task completed. 

For you to dedicate time to a task it must be worthwhile. Here are a few reasons why submitting a nomination for a Small Business Week award by the Jan. 9 deadline is a good use of your time:

  • Bragging rights - many past winners feature their Small Business Week award in their bios, on their website, and in marketing materials. Who can blame them? It's a well-deserved honor that should involve a little tooting of your own horn.

  • Elite alumni network - numerous household brands, both local and national, are previous winners. Submitting a Small Business Week award nomination gets you that much closer to the recognition of winners before and after you.

  • Media attention - National Small Business Week award winner stories are pitched to news media and are often picked up in local and sometimes even national media outlets. Plus, social media posts often attract attention and visits from members of Congress.

  • Inspire future entrepreneurs - your small business journey has a lot of power. The struggles, the failures, the creative problem-solving, the successes ... all of these elements provide valuable learning and inspiration to other entrepreneurs. Think of those who supported you during the years. Consider this one way to pay it forward.

  • It's fun - nothing beats the energy in the room with other Small Business Week award winners and their communities of support. From firsthand experience, it's an energizing, inspiring and humbling experience that will be a life-defining moment.


Convinced? Good. Here are a few tips to help make this as easy a process as possible:

  • Keep your eyes on the prize with this blog that outlines how to submit an award-winning nomination.

  • Delegate. Involve your staff and ask your network to help you so it's not a heavy lift for anyone, including you.

  • Contact your local SBA Small Business Week representative for more guidance on local awards:
         >> Seattle District (Washington and north Idaho)
         >> Portland District (Oregon and southwest Washington)
         >> Boise District (Idaho and east Oregon)
         >> Alaska District

  • Numbers are helpful, but don't forget to be a storyteller - Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? What aspect of your business journey is the most compelling and engaging?

  • As tempting as it is, don't procrastinate. Consider submitting your nomination before the holidays.

  • Another approach: break up the steps to make it more manageable. Do the heavy lifting of assembling all elements before the holidays. Then simply tighten it up with a fresh set of eyes in the new year.


Whatever your approach, I urge you to make "Small Business Week award nomination" a top item on your to-do list. Start 2019 right instead of wondering, "what if."

Apply now