Do you know a small business worthy of recognition? Nominate them for a Small Business Week Award!
Each year the President of the United States sets aside one week in the spring to honor and celebrate small business —National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes small business owners from winning nominations from lenders, SCORE, SBDCs, WBCs, chambers of commerce and economic developers. If you have a nominee for 2013 Small Business Week, please review the relevant details for the award categories and top tips for nominations below. Questions on award criteria? Please contact Cathy Pokines at (315) 471-9393 ext. 241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completed nomination packages should be postmarked by January 3, 2013 and sent to:
SBA Syracuse District Office
Attn: Cathy Pokines
224 Harrison Street, Suite 506
Syracuse, NY 13202
- Small Business Person of the Year – The Syracuse District winner will compete at the State level. State winners go on to compete at the National level.
- Small Business Exporter of the Year – District level competition only.
- SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year – District level competition only.
- Any individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business.
- 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.
- A nominee must own or operate a business defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards.
- Individuals who have received the Small Business Person Award at the State level within the past five years are not eligible.
- Nominees must be residents of 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.
- While receipt of SBA assistance is not required, it is preferred.
- Individuals may not be nominated for more than one award category.
SBP Selection Criteria -In evaluating the nomination packages, the judges will look for the following criteria:
Staying power — a substantiated history as an established business.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Small Business Exporter Eligibility
- Any individual who owns and operates a small business engaged in exporting.
Small Business Exporter Selection Criteria -the judges will look for the following criteria:
- Increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of exporting.
- Creative overseas marketing strategies.
- Effective solutions to export-related problems.
- Demonstrated encouragement of other small businesses to export.
- Volunteer assistance to other small businesses entering the export market.
- Cooperation with other businesses in the creation of export trading companies and/or introduction of unique trading relationships, products or services.
SBA Young Entrepreneur Eligibility
- The individual must serve as a majority owner and operate or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business
- Owner will not have reached the age of 30 by June 1, 2013.
- Business must have a three year track record.
SBA Young Entrepreneur Selection Criteria -the judges will look for the following criteria:
- Evidence of success as measured by sales and profits.
- Increased employment opportunities created by the nominee’s business.
- Development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods.
- Demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.
PUTTING THE NOMINATION PACKAGE TOGETHER:
- Place in a 1 ½” binder.
- Organize in the following order:
A single cover page stating:
- Nominee’s full name, title, business and home addresses with telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address.
- Award for which the nomination is being made.
- Nominator’s name, title, place of business, business address and telephone number and e-mail address.
- Type of SBA assistance received (loan, SCORE counseling, SBDC assistance, etc.), if any.
- One-paragraph description of the nominee’s business.
- A completed SBA Form 3300, Award Nomination Form – available online at https://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/sites/all/documents/SBA_3300.pdf. For “team” nominations for Small Business Person, a background form is required for each team member.
- 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-- not to exceed four pages.Address eligibility and the selection criteria that merit the award.
- The nominee’s financial statement — not to exceed 12 pages. Include balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements and financial reports on 8 ½ ’’ x 11’’ paper - for the last three years.
- Supporting documentation –not to exceed 10 pages. Videos will not be considered. Include news clips, letters of recommendation or other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination.
A completed SBA Form 2137, Award Nomination Consent Form-available online at
- Start Your Package Right Away – Decide on a nominee that you are proud to be associated with, contact them and start to gather information as soon as possible.
- Be Sure to Read and Follow Nomination Guidelines Exactly – The guidelines are not difficult, just precise. For example, nominations must be typewritten on one side of 8 ½" x 11" white stationery, collated and secured in a 1½" binder. The consistent organization of the package helps judges easily compare nominations and to rate the nomination against the competition.
- Use the Evaluation/Selection Criteria as an Outline – Each award has a different set of criteria used to rate the nomination. Make sure that you explain how your nominee meets each of the criteria in your nomination letter. Use the headings as an outline so that it is easy for the judges to read. Failing to respond to any criteria could prevent an otherwise outstanding nominee from being selected.
- Put Together a Strong Financial Package – Financial statements are required. Make sure that you submit three years of financial information. Since statements alone don’t always represent the complete financial picture of the business, briefly explain what the data means. Some judges do not have a financial background and they need to know the story behind the numbers.
- Always Include Supporting Documentation – The support section is limited to 10 pages, so you’ll want to include the most persuasive evidence possible. Make sure all photocopies are easy to read. If you submit letters of support, seek them from individuals with firsthand knowledge of the nominee’s accomplishments and give specific examples.
- Photos - Photos are a required item in the packet and can really add to the nomination. Provide either an 8”x10”or 5”x7” photo (B&W or color) of the nominee and 4-5 photos of products or employees. You can email digital photos of at least 300dpi to email@example.com. Photo copies of a photo will not be accepted.
- SBA Assistance - Although SBA assistance is not required, if a business has been helped by SBA, explain it in the nomination. SBA assistance can include loans, procurement assistance, assistance from SCORE, SBDC, WBC or SBA office.
- Make the Package Look Good – Just like kindergarten, neatness counts! It may not be a rated element, but it does create an impression for the judges. Grammatical errors and typos distract from the quality of the nomination.