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Small Business Week Awards 2012 Nomination Deadline Approaching

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Prestigious national awards program highlights contributions of small business owners & supporters to America

SANTA ANA – The Santa Ana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is soliciting nominations for the 2012 Small Business Week Awards.  Nominations are due no later than November 12 for consideration in this year’s awards program.

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.  Leading up to National Small Business Week (SBW), district offices around the country host special events to honor and present awards to the nation’s entrepreneurs and those who support and champion small business.  Local award winners advance to compete at State, Regional, and National levels for a chance to be invited to Washington, D.C. for SBW ’12. 

Any individual who owns and operates or 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.  Additionally, nominees must be residents of the United States, and their business must be defined as small under the applicable SBA size standard for their industry.  While receipt of SBA assistance is not required, it is preferred.

Nominations may be submitted by any organization or individual 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. 

Previous local winners who have gone to receive National SBW Awards include Systems Integrated (1995), CABO Yachts (1998), Balboa Instruments (2000), and Smart Systems Technologies (2005).

According to District Director Adalberto Quijada, “Small Business Week Awards give us the chance to showcase the critical contributions of local entrepreneurs to our community and economy.  It’s their hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit that keeps more than half of all Americans employed.” 

 The awards categories for which nominations may be submitted are:

  •  Small Business Person of the Year:  A business owner who has developed an outstanding, growing business and has overcome adversity, designed innovative product(s), created jobs, increased sales and profits and contributed to the community
  • Exporter of the Year:  A business owner who has significantly increased export sales and has encouraged other firms to export, increased employment through exports, and used innovative methods to create markets abroad
  • 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, 2012
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year:  Family owned and operated business which has been passed on from one generation to another.  Nominees must also serve as a majority owner and operator or bear principal responsibility for operating the small business with at least a 15-year track record
  • Entrepreneurial Success:  Individuals must own and operate businesses initially launched as small businesses according to SBA size standards and subsequently developed into large businesses, and they must have received SBA assistance to help the businesses grow
  • Small Business Champion Awards:  Champions are persons who use their professional expertise and talents in activities that promote small business.  These pursuits include volunteering their time and services to small business interests, participating in small business group and advocating the cause of small business in the legislative process
    • Home-Based Business Champion of the Year:  Nominees must own or have owned a home-based business and have volunteered to improve the climate for these businesses to start and grow
    • Financial Services Champion of the Year:  Candidates will have assisted small businesses by increasing the usefulness and availability of accounting, financial services, and access to capital
    • Minority Small Business Champion:  Nominees must have worked to improve conditions in the minority business community and demonstrate a positive impact resulting from their contributions
    • Small Business Champion of the Year*:  Nominees must have used their professional expertise to assist entrepreneurs and to advocate on behalf of small business
    • Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year:  Potential winners must have worked to increase business opportunities for veterans to own and prosper in small business
    • Women in Business Champion of the Year:  Candidates must have worked to improve financial and business opportunities for women business owners as a group

Guidelines for each of the categories and nomination forms may be obtained by contacting Sylvia Gutierrez at (714) 560-7454.  Workshops for individuals interested in nominating someone for an SBA award will be held on September 15, 2011 and October 18, 2011 from 2pm to 3:30pm at the Santa Ana District Office, located at 200 W. Santa Ana Blvd. Suite 700, Santa Ana, CA 92701 and on September 27, 2011 from 10:30am to 12:00p at the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center, located at 201 North “E” Street, San Bernardino, CA 92401.

* indicates local award that doesn't advance for competition at Regional & National levels

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