2014 South Florida District Office Small Business Week Awards Nominations Guidelines

2014 South Florida Awards

 

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 May of 2014 in Washington, DC.  Leading up to National Small Business Week 2014, 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 advocate for small businesses.

 

2014 South Florida District Small Business Week Awards

 In celebration of National Small Business Week, the SBA South Florida District Office will give the following awards:

 

Small Business Person of the Year

Small Business Exporter of the Year

Veteran Business Owner of the Year

Minority Business Owner of the Year

Woman Business Owner of the Year

Small Business Advocate of the Year

Financial Services Advocate of the Year

Small Business Media Advocate of the Year

 

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 South Florida Small Business Week Awards program are set forth in these guidelines.

Key Deadline

January 17, 2014 - Small Business Week Award nominations must be received in the South Florida District Office.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the selection procedures for these awards?
  2. Who is eligible to be nominated for these awards?
  3. Who may submit nominations for these awards?
  4. May I self nominate myself for these awards?
  5. Where are the nominations to be sent?
  6. What is the deadline for nominations?
  7. What information must each nomination package contain?

 

What are the selection procedures for these awards?

 

The SBA South Florida District Office will select the winners of the Small Business Week Awards at the district level.  Those winners will then compete at the State level against winners from the SBA North Florida District Office to determine the Florida winners.  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 must also be residents of and located in one of the 24 counties of the South Florida District Office territory: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St. Lucie.  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.

Contact Jim Brooks at 305-536-5521 x104 or James.Brooks@sba.gov if you have questions.

 

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 2014 award category.

 

May I self nominate myself for these awards?

 

Individuals may self nominate themselves for an award. 

 

Where are the nominations to be sent?

 

Nominations for all award categories, except the Small Business Person of the Year and Small Business Exporter of the Year, may be submitted in one of two ways:

 

Completed paper nominations may be sent to the SBA South Florida District Office located at:

Jim Brooks

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. SBA

South Florida District Office

100 S. Biscayne Boulevard, 7th floor

Miami, FL  33131-2011

OR

By email to: SouthFlorida_DO@sba.gov.  Nomination package must not exceed 5 MB or it will be rejected by our email server.  If award nomination package exceeds 5 MB, please submit nomination in seperate, corresponding and identifiable email packages.  Otherwise, please submit a paper nomination.   

 

Nominations for the Small Business Person of the Year and Small Business Exporter of the Year may be submitted in one of two ways:

 

Electronically via the online nominations portal on http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/

OR

Completed paper nominations may be sent to the SBA South Florida District Office located at:

Jim Brooks

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. SBA

South Florida District Office

100 S. Biscayne Boulevard, 7th floor

Miami, FL  33131-2011

 

What is the deadline for nominations?

 

All nominations for all South Florida District Office awards must be emailed, postmarked, or hand delivered to the District Office no later than January 17, 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 Advocate 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:

 

Nominations submitted to the U.S. Small Business Administration district office in the state or territory where the nominee is located must be typewritten on one side of 8 1/2" x 11" white stationery, collated and secured in a 1 1/2" binder.

Nominations submitted via the online nominations portal must also be typewritten and contain the information required below. 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 if submitted via hard copy:

1. 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.

2. A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nomination Form) which is available through SBA district offices and the online nominations portal. For "team" nominations for Small Business Person of the Year, a background form is required for each team member;

3. 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;

4. Four to five additional photos of the nominee’s company and employees at work (official company photos may be submitted provided that the submitter has permission to use them from the company and/or employees in the photo);

5. A nomination letter, to include a concise statement of the qualities and performance that merit the award, not to exceed four pages;

6. A brief biography of the nominee, not to exceed one page;

7. A business profile, not to exceed one page;

8. The nominee’s financial statement — including balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements and financial reports — not exceeding 12 pages, on 8 1/2’’ x 11’’ paper - for the calendar years 2010, 2011 and 2012;

9. 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.

10. A completed SBA Form 2137 Award Nomination Consent Form, which is available through SBA district offices and through the online portal.

 

 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 look at the following criteria:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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 in councils, boards and clubs providing support and services to the community.

8) If applicable, a description of the products exported and markets served.

 

Small Business Exporter of the Year Award

 

Who is eligible to be nominated for these awards?

 

Any individual, or team of individuals, who own and operate a small business that is defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards and is engaged in exporting may be nominated. Nominees must also 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.  Consult the South Florida district office if you have questions.   

What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Business Exporter of the Year?

 

In evaluating the nomination packages for the Exporter of the Year award, the judges will look at the following criteria:

1) Increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of exporting.

2) Creative overseas marketing strategies.

3) Effective solutions to export-related problems.

4) Demonstrated encouragement of other small businesses to export.

5) Volunteer assistance to other small businesses entering the export market.

6) Cooperation with other businesses in the creation of export trading companies and/or introduction of unique trading relationships, products or services.

  

Veteran Business Owner of the Year Award

Minority Business Owner of the Year Award

Woman Business Owner of the Year Award

 

What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Veteran Business Owner of the Year, Minority Business Owner of the Year and Woman Business Owner of the Year Awards?

 

These awards will be presented to small business owners who have achieved success in their businesses as measured by the following criteria:

 

1. Staying power — a substantiated history as an established business; including:

• Number of years in business.

• 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.

 

2. 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 excesses of growth in Gross National Product.

 

3. 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 three years.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Contributions to community-oriented projects that support the efforts of minority, women or veteran owned businesses/entrepreneurs— evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources, including:

• Listing of specific contributions of money, time, or resources to causes that support business ownership for minorities, women or veterans.

• Membership in councils, boards and clubs providing support and services to owners of businesses who are minorities, women or veterans.

 

Who is eligible for these awards?

 

Veteran Business Owner of the Year – To be considered for the Veteran Business Owner of the Year award, the nominee must be a majority owner (51% or more) and operator or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business with a minimum three year track record, and must be a veteran or service-disabled veteran honorably discharged from a branch of the US Armed Services (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves or National Guard).

 

Minority Business Owner of the Year – To be considered for the Minority Business Owner of the Year award, the individual must serve as a majority owner (51% or more) and operator or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business with a minimum three year track record, and must be from a designated minority group.  (Designated minority group members are defined as U.S. citizens who are Asian American, African American, Hispanic American and Native American.  Asian American minorities come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Micronesia, Fiji, or any of the surrounding areas.  African American minorities are considered to be any person with origins in the black racial groups of Africa.  Hispanic American minorities are those who come from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean basin.  Native American minorities are those who are part of the North American Indian tribes, Eskimos or Native Hawaiians.)

Woman Business Owner of the YearTo be considered for the Woman Business Owner of the Year award, the nominee must be female who serves as a majority owner (51% or more) and operates or bears principal responsibility for operating a small business with a minimum three year track record.

  

Small Business Advocate of the Year

 

This award will be presented to an individual or organization that assists entrepreneurs through advocacy and other efforts that raise the profile, effectiveness, health, vitality, growth, or expansion of small businesses in the SBA’s South Florida District Office territory.  These efforts can target specific segments of the small business population such as women, veterans, minorities, exporters, and those small firms located in rural communities.

 

What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Small Business Advocate of the Year award?

 

The selection will be based on:

  1. Demonstrated accomplishments over the last three years to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses (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.)
  2. Advocacy of the small business community as a whole and not solely for individual personal advancement
  3. Efforts to increase business opportunities for small companies.
  4. Innovation in advocacy strategies with measurable benefits to small businesses in South Florida
  5. Longevity and success of sustained commitment to small businesses and entrepreneurship.
  6. Other accomplishments demonstrating the nominee’s merit as an effective advocate for small business interests.

  

Financial Services Advocate 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 Advocate of the Year award?

 

The selection will be based on:

  1. Demonstrated performance in encouraging the flow of investment capital to small firms.
  2. 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.)
  3. Longevity of sustained commitment to small businesses and entrepreneurship.
  4. Measurable accomplishments in the quality and growth in the number of small business clients assisted through financial or technical assistance provided.
  5. For participating SBA Lenders, nominees must have satisfactory OCRM Risk Ratings.
  6. For SBA-approved Small Business Investment Companies, nominees must have a positive working relationship with SBA.
  7. Success story examples (not to exceed three stories)
  8. Other achievements that exemplify the nominee’s efforts to improve the health and vitality of South Florida small businesses.

Small Business Media Advocate of the Year

 

The Small Business Media Advocate of the Year Award will recognize an outstanding journalist from television, radio, web, electronic or print media whose work supports the growth and expansion of small businesses in the SBA South Florida 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 Media Advocate of the Year award?

  1. Concerted and demonstrated efforts to increase public understanding of the importance of small business contributions to the economy, especially in South Florida. 
  2. Contribution of content and feature stories, editorials, columns and commentary that highlight and analyze small business issues in the South Florida area.
  3. Voluntary community service aimed at enhancing small business opportunity and growth.
  4. 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 South Florida.

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