2013 Mississippi District Office Small Business Week Awards Nominations Guidelines
In recognition of the small business community’s contribution to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. The national celebration will take place in the spring of 2013 in Washington, DC. Leading up to National Small Business Week 2013, the U.S. Small Business Administration, often in conjunction with public- and private-sector small business supporters, will host special events at the local and state levels to honor and present awards to local entrepreneurs and those who support and Champion for small businesses.
2013 Mississippi District Small Business Week Awards
In celebration of National Small Business Week, the SBA Mississippi District Office will give the following awards:
Small Business Person of the Year
Small Business Exporter
Generational Family-Owned Business
Minority Small Business Champion
Women in Business Champion
Veteran Small Business Champion
Financial Services Champion
Small Business Journalist
Small Business Disaster Recovery
Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery
The Agency reserves the right, in its sole reasonable discretion, to remove a nominee from the selection process.
The nomination and selection process, evaluation criteria, and key dates for the Mississippi Small Business Week Awards program are set forth in these guidelines.
January 31, 2013 - Completed Small Business Week Award nominations must be received by the SBA Gulfport Branch Office.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the selection procedures for these awards?
The SBA Mississippi District Office will select the winners of the Small Business Week Awards at the district level. Winners at each level will be selected by a panel of judges. Winners at each level will be considered for awards at the next highest level. The National Small Business Person of the Year is selected from the district level winners from across the nation by the SBA Administrator based on the recommendations of the Agency’s National Small Business Week panel of judges. The winner will be announced during National Small Business Week. Non-federal employees serving as judges must sign a conflict of interest/non-disclosure certification.
Who is eligible to be nominated for these awards?
Any individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business may be nominated. 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. All nominees for the Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Exporter of the Year, Veteran Business Owner of the Year, Minority Business Owner of the Year, and Woman Business Owner of the Year must own or operate a business defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards. Individuals who have received the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year Award at the State level within the past five years are not eligible. All nominees 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. To be nominated and receive one of these awards, the nominee must fit within the category of the award.
Who may submit nominations for these awards?
Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, including, but not limited to, trade and professional associations and business organizations, may submit nominations for the Small Business Week Awards. Individuals may not be nominated for more than one SBW 2013 award category.
May I nominate myself for these awards?
Where are the nominations to be sent?
Nominations for the Small Business Person of the Year may be submitted in one of two ways:
Electronically via the online nomination portal on www.sba.gov
Completed paper nominations may be sent of the Mississippi SBA Gulfport Branch Office:
U. S. Small Business Administration
Attn.: Bridget Johnson-Fells, Public Information Officer
Gulfport Branch Office
2510 14th Street, Ste. 103
Gulfport, MS 39501
Nominations for all award categories, except the Small Business Person of the Year, may be submitted in one of two ways:
Completed paper nominations may be sent to Bridget Johnson-Fells of the SBA Gulfport Branch Office (see address info above).
Send via email to Bridget.firstname.lastname@example.org. The nomination package must not exceed 5 MB or it will be rejected by our email server. If the award nomination package exceeds 5 MB, please breakup and send the nomination in separate, corresponding and identifiable email packages. Please follow-up with our office via phone at (228) 863-4449, ext. 225 to confirm all packages were received.
What is the deadline for nominations?
Nomination information, photographs, etc. for all Mississippi District Office awards must be emailed, postmarked, or hand delivered to the Gulfport Branch Office no later than January 31, 2013. Please make note of the acceptable methods for submission for each award category.
What information must each nomination package contain?
These are the requirements for all award categories, except the Champion Awards which do NOT require the submission of financial statements. Nominations must be typewritten on one side of 8 1/2” x 11” white stationery, collated and secured. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered. All evaluation/selection criteria must be specifically addressed. A complete nomination package will also include, in the following order:
- A single cover page stating —
- the nominee’s full name, title, business and home addresses with telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address if applicable;
- the award for which the nomination is being made;
- the nominator’s name, title, place of business, business address and telephone number and e-mail address if applicable;
- the type of SBA assistance received (e.g., loan, SCORE counseling, SBDC assistance, etc.), if applicable; and
- a one-paragraph description of the nominee’s business.
- An original 8” x 10” or 5” x 7” photo of the nominee; or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi; photocopies are not acceptable;
- Four to five additional photos of the nominee’s company and employees at work;
- A nomination letter, to include a concise statement of the qualities and performance that merit the award, not to exceed four pages;
- A brief biography of the nominee, not to exceed one page;
- A business profile, not to exceed one page;
- The nominee’s financial statements — including balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements and financial reports — not exceeding 12 pages, on 8 1/2’’ x 11’’ paper - for the last three years. Financial Statements will be reviewed only by the Assistant District Director for Lender Relations and will not be shared with anyone else. Strict confidentiality will be maintained at all times. Champion Awards nominations are exempt from this requirement.
- Any other supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination. Supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages. Videos will not be considered.
- A completed SBA Form 2137 Award Nomination Consent Form . For “team” nominations for Small Business Owner of the Year, a background form is required for each team member.
- A completed SBA Form 3300, Award Nomination Form. For “team” nominations for Small Business Owner of the Year, a background form is required for each team member.
Small Business Person of the Year Award
What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Business Person of the Year award?
In evaluating the nomination packages, the judges will utilize the following criteria:
- Staying power — a substantiated history as an established business; including:
- Number of years in business; minimum three years.
- Sustained expansion, addition of territories, growth in square footage occupied.
- Steady growth in net worth as evidenced by total assets less total liabilities on fiscal year end annual balance sheets over three years.
- Growth in number of employees — a benchmark to judge the impact of the business on the job market.
- Sustained over a minimum of three years.
- Increase over the three years must be in excess of growth in Gross National Product.
- Increase in sales and/or unit volume — an indication of continued growth over the last three years.
- Consistent growth in net income as evidenced by fiscal year annual profit-and-loss statements for a minimum of the last three years.
- Current and past financial performance — financial reports substantiate an improved financial position of the business.
- Profit-and-loss statements for the last three years, reflecting sustained upward growth.
- Balance sheets for the last three years, showing consistent increase in net worth and/or partners’ return.
- Innovativeness of product or service offered — an illustration of the creativity and imagination of the nominee.
- Specific description of uniqueness of product or service.
- Explanation of how product or service fits a niche not being adequately addressed by the competition.
- Response to adversity — examples of problems faced in the nominee’s business and the methods used to solve them, including:
- Specific description of financial, physical, legal or other crisis.
- Substantiation of the threat to the continuity of the business.
- Defined actions taken by the nominee to resolve the crisis.
- Contributions to community-oriented projects — evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources, including:
- Listing of specific contributions of money, time, or resources to charitable causes.
- Membership on boards, councils and clubs providing support and services to the community.
Small Business Exporter of the Year Award
Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?
Any individual, or team of individuals, who own and operate a small business that is defined as "small" under the applicatble SBA size standards and is engaged in exporting may be nominated. Nomnees must als be residents of and employed in 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.
What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Business Exporter of the Year?
1. Export Markets
- Entry into foreign markets
- Expansion of existing foreign markets and/or addition of new ones
2. Growth in number of employees
- Number of jobs created as a result of exports and exporting activities
3. Increase in export sales dollars
- Documented export deals completed in 2012
- Total percentage increase in sales in 2012 compared to 2011
- Exports as percentage of total sales
4. Creative overseas marketing strategies
- Nominee’s innovation and originality in marketing products or services
- Specific description of uniqueness of product or service
5. Effective solutions to export-related problems
- Specific description of financial, physical, legal or other crisis
- Defined actions taken by the nominee to resolve the crisis
- Use of Federal, State and Local resources available to U.S. exporters
6. Current and past financial performance. Three years of the following:
- Profit-and-loss statements reflecting sustained upward growth
- Balance sheets showing consistent increase in net worth and/or partners’ return
- Corporate tax returns
If applicable, include a description of the products exported and markets served.
Veteran, Minority or Woman Small Business Champion of the Year Awards
Who is eligible for these awards?
Those who promote small businesses, including volunteering time and services to small business interests and groups, advocating the cause of small business in the legislative process. Champions need not be small business owners.
What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Veteran, Minority and Woman Champion of the Year Awards?
VETERAN SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPION
o Active support for legislative or regulatory action designed to help small business
o Evidence of increased business opportunities for veterans as a result of the nominee’s actions
o Advisory activities to improve awareness among veterans’ groups of the small business opportunities
o Advocacy of special consideration for veteran-owned small businesses in government policymaking
o Demonstrated success in obtaining support within the community for the establishment of veteran-owned small businesses
o Other accomplishments demonstrating the nominee’s effective advocacy of veteran-owned small businesses
MINORITY SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPION
o Volunteer efforts beyond professional responsibilities to advance minority small business interests within the community, state and/or nation
o Demonstrated efforts to improve conditions in the minority small business community as a whole, not solely for individual personal advancement
o Voluntary efforts to provide professional services to the minority small business community in a legal, legislative, management or financial capacity
o Demonstrated accomplishments in advising minority small business groups of opportunities within the overall business community
o Other accomplishments demonstrating the nominee’s merit as an effective advocate for minority small business interests
WOMEN IN BUSINESS CHAMPION
o Active support for legislative or regulatory action designed to help small business
o Efforts to increase business and financial opportunities for women
o Legal, financial or managerial assistance provided to enhance women’s business ownership
o Volunteer efforts to strengthen the role of women owned businesses in the community
o Advocacy of the women-owned business community as a whole, not solely for individual personal advancement
o Other accomplishments demonstrating effectiveness in improving environment for the creation and expansion of women owned businesses
Financial Services Champion of the Year
This award will be presented to an individual or organization that assists small businesses through advocacy and other efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of financial literacy or financial services for small businesses as well as those who assist entrepreneurs in obtaining small business financing. For example, nominees may demonstrate creativity by using, promoting, or combining various loan programs and services, including those available through the SBA, to assist small businesses in starting their businesses or in obtaining financing; they may actively advocate for changes in the financial services industry by supporting legislative and regulatory actions to assist and help the small business community. Nominees may or may not be small business owners.
What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Financial Services Champion of the Year award?
The selection will be based on:
- Encouragement the flow of investment capital to small firms.
- Demonstrated accomplishments over the last three years to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses through financial services activities (as measured by job creation or retention, service to underserved markets, number of loans to small businesses, number of businesses started or expanded, number of clients served, access to business opportunities, etc.)
- Longevity of sustained commitment to small businesses and entrepreneurship.
- Measurable accomplishments in the quality and growth in the number of small business clients assisted through financial or technical assistance provided.
- For participating SBA Lenders, nominees must have satisfactory OCRM Risk Ratings.
- For SBA-approved Small Business Investment Companies, nominees must have a positive working relationship with SBA.
- Success story examples (not to exceed three stories)
- Other achievements that exemplify the nominee’s efforts to improve the health and vitality of Mississippi small businesses.
Small Business Journalist of the Year
The Small Business Journalist of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding journalist from television, radio, web, electronic or print media whose work supports the growth and expansion of small businesses in the SBA Mississippi District Office territory. The nomination package must include a minimum of three of the nominee’s originally authored and published articles or URL links to such content.
What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Business Journalist of the Year award?
- Concerted and demonstrated efforts to increase public understanding of the importance of small business contributions to the economy, especially in Mississippi.
- Contribution of content and feature stories, editorials, columns and commentary that highlight and analyze small business issues in the Mississippi area.
- Voluntary community service aimed at enhancing small business opportunity and growth.
- Other achievements that exemplify the nominee’s efforts to improve the understanding and importance of small businesses to the U.S. economy with a particular focus on those in Mississippi.
Questions? Please contact Bridget Johnson-Fells at (228) 863-4449, x225 or Bridget.email@example.com.