Nominations Open for National Small Business Week Awards

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Seattle District Office - September 20, 2022

u s small business administration

In this newsletter learn more about 2023 National Small Business Week awards:

Illustration of a trophy with text, 2023 National Small Business Week Awards. Now accepting nominations. The SBA logo is included.

Call for Nominations

Submit your Nominations now for National Small Business Week 2023

Are you a resilient, growing small business with a story to tell? Do you know a local small business that deserves to be celebrated? Submit your nominations today for the 2023 National Small Business Week Awards.

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has celebrated National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. National Small Business week will take place April 30 - May 6, 2023. 

Award Categories

The SBA Seattle District Office will be awarding individuals and small businesses in each of the following categories: 

  • Small Business Person of the Year 
  • Exporter of the Year
  • 8(a) Graduate of the Year
  • Rural Small Business of the Year
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Nominations are due by December 8, 2022 at 12 noon (PST).

How to Submit a Nomination

Step 1: Review the nomination criteria

Start by visiting the National Small Business Week awards page, where you will find information on award categories, nomination guidelines and nomination forms. 

Step 2: Gather and Complete the required forms

All of the necessary forms and instructions can be found on the National Small Business Week website. Some forms are required for all award categories, and some categories have specific nomination forms. 

To make a nomination in the following categories, use these links to reach the appropriate nomination form:

For all award categories, nomination packets must include:

Step 3: Submit your completed nomination packet electronically

All submissions must be uploaded to the Seattle District Box Account no later than Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 12 noon (PST).

If you are unsure of which SBA District Office serves your area, you can find it by inputting your zip code into the SBA local assistance map and find links to all SBA District Office box accounts here.

*The award for Small Business Person of the Year is awarded per state. While the Seattle District Office does serve counties in northern Idaho, all nominations in this category for businesses located in Idaho should be summitted to the Boise District Office here.

Step 4: Watch your email for confirmation and further communication regarding your submission.

Questions and Assistance

For any questions regarding award criteria, how to submit a nomination, or a submission you have already made, please contact Neil Subhash, Outreach and Marketing Specialist for the SBA Seattle District Office.

Meet the Winners from 2022

The SBA Seattle District had a competitive field in 2022, with many small businesses nominated in each category. While they all deserve recognition, these four standouts took the top honors. 

Washington Small Business Person of the Year

headshot of Boon Boona Coffee owner Efrem Fesaha

Efrem Fesaha, Founder and CEO of Boon Boona Coffee

Renton, Washington

Boon Boona Coffee began in 2012 with the mission of empowering small-scale African coffee producers through intentional sourcing, while building local community around coffee culture here in the Pacific Northwest. Today Boon Boona Coffee roasts more than 100,000 pounds of African coffee, with 20 employees across two locations.

Fesaha was also the 2022 Pacific Northwest Small Business Person of the Year, selected among state winners from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, making him one of 10 finalists for the SBA National Small Business Person of the Year Award. 

Read more about Efrem


Young Entrepreneur of they Year

headshot of Sweet Frostings CEO Jessica Atkinson

Jessica Atkinson, CEO of Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop

Spokane, Washington

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop is known for high quality and customized cakes, cupcakes and unique treats, greeting customers across two locations and employing more than 35 staff. Starting at age 14, Atkinson joined forces with the original founders (her mother and a family friend) and has worked full time in the business in various roles. Now 24 years old, Atkinson leads the business as CEO as they continue to grow and innovate. 

Read more about Jessica


Rural Small Business of the Year

headshot of Bluebird Grain Farm owners Brooke and Sam Lucy

Bluebird Grain Farms

Winthrop, Washington

Founded in 2004 by Brooke and Sam Lucy, Bluebird Grain Farms is a certified organic producer and processor, specializing in ancient grains, fresh-milled flour and whole-grain handcrafted blends. What started as a grassroots business venture to provide organic ancient grains to their local community has expanded well beyond their small rural town to become an award-winning, vertically-integrated, value-added business that supports eight employees, a regional network of grain producers, and serves more than 19,000 customers. 

Read more about Bluebird Grain


Small Business Exporter of the Year

headshot of Richard Brinton of BBD International

Richard Brinton, Founder and President of BBD International

Edmonds, Washington

Richard Brinton founded BBD International in 1997 as an exporter of construction equipment. Through a 25-year career Brinton has developed business relationships spanning 6 countries, and expanded his exporting business to include machinery, spare parts and military equipment. Brinton values the direct, personal relationships he has forged as key to his success. 

Read more about Richard

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