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Houston District Seeks 2014 Small Business Award Nominations

Release Date: Monday, December 9, 2013
Release Number: 2013-12-01
Contact: LaDonna Barbee (713) 773-6509

SBA seeks nominations for

Houston Small Business Person of the Year,

Small Business Champions  

HOUSTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration Houston District Office is seeking successful and inspiring entrepreneurs to represent Houston during the 2014 National Small Business Awards event hosted by the SBA.  Nominations are due Jan. 17, 2014. 

“This is the time to honor an outstanding entrepreneur in your area.  Small business owners are so important to the strength of our country, and these awards provide an opportunity to celebrate their success,” said Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, SBA Regional Administrator.  Olivarez heads Region VI which serves more than 3.3 million entrepreneurs in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  “Each day these men and women overcome obstacles with creativity and perseverance, and help create jobs for themselves and others.” 

The Houston Small Business Person of the Year will be selected based on staying power as evidenced by a minimum 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 Houston award winner will compete for the Texas Small Business Person of the Year, and 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. 

“Every year since 1963, the President has designated a week as National Small Business Week and we will be saluting the achievements of the nation’s top small businesses in this process.  I encourage you to participate by nominating an outstanding small business owner and/or small business champion from your community,” said SBA Houston District Director Manuel Gonzalez. 

Nominations will also be accepted in the following categories: 

  1. Small Business Exporter of the Year
  2. 8(a) Graduate of the Year
  3. Phoenix (Disaster Recovery) Awards
  4. SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  5. Family-Owned Business of the Year
  6. Entrepreneurial Success Award
  7. Financial Services Champion of the Year
  8. Home-Based Business Champion of the Year
  9. Minority Small Business Champion of the Year
  10. Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
  11. Women in Business Champion of the Year  

Nominees for these awards should fit the following categories

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

8(a) Graduate of the Year:  This award recognizes a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the program for at least one year as of April 1, 2013.  The firm does not have to currently be a small business. 

Phoenix Awards:  These awards are given to those individuals (business owners, volunteers and public officials) whose efforts and contributions have enabled their business or communities to recover successfully from a disaster.  

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, 2014. 

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 Award:  Individuals 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. 

Nominations should be submitted to Houston District Office, 8701 South Gessner Rd, Suite 1200, Houston, TX 77074.  Nominees who will compete for national awards should submit nominations via the SBA online nominations portal at http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/user

The 2014 Houston District Small Business Week Nominations Guidelines Supplement can be found at www.sba.gov/TX/Houston.com

For more information, contact Valerie Nguyen at (713) 773-6516 or Valerie.nguyen@sba.gov

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