2019 St. Louis District Office Small Business Week Award Guidelines

Awards Overview

As part of National and District Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community members from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The nomination eligibility criteria, selection process, evaluation criteria and time frame for the various SBA Awards selected from nominated individuals or businesses are set forth in the guidelines below.

Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri will make the awards to eligible small businesses at the St. Louis District Office level only. Awards for Small Business Person of the Year and Exporter of the Year will be forwarded for state and national competition.

SBA Awards given in celebration of the Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri include the following award categories:

- Small Business Person of the Year – National, State, and Eastern Missouri Awards

- Small Business Exporter of the Year - National, Regional, and Eastern Missouri Awards

- 8(a) Graduate of the Year – National, Regional, Eastern Missouri

- Start-Up of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Technology Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Family-Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Home-Based Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Immigrant-Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Minority Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Rural-Owned Small Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- HUBZone Located Business of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Small Business Advocate of the Year – Eastern Missouri

- Entrepreneurial Success Award – Eastern Missouri

All forms for the awards can be found at https://www.sba.gov/nsbw

The award deadline for all awards is 2:00pm CT, January 9, 2019.


Who is eligible to be nominated for these awards?

To be nominated and win one of these awards, the small business nominee must fit within the category of the award:

- Small Business Person of the Year: Any individual (or team of less than four individuals) who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business may be nominated.

- Small Business Exporter of the Year: Any small business which has experienced growth or increased profitability due to exporting products or services.

- Start-Up of the Year: The individual must serve as a majority owner and operate or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business with no more than two years in business.

- Young Entrepreneur of the Year: 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, 2018.

- Technology Business of the Year: This award honors a business in which the owner has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a technology focused business.

- 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.

- Home-Based Business of the Year: The business must have experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a home-based business.

- Immigrant-Owned Small Business of the Year: A business must be owned by an immigrant(s) to the United States who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a small business.

- Minority Small Business of the Year: The minority person(s) must serve as majority owners of a small business and experience the rewards and difficulties of owning their own business.

- 8(a) Graduate of the Year: This award will go to a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the 8(a) Program for at least one year prior to April 1, 2018. The firm does not have to currently be a small business.

- Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: The majority owner(s) must have fulfilled a commitment to the U.S. armed forces and have experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a small business.

- Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: The majority owner(s) must be women who have experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning their own business.

- Rural-Owned Small Business of the Year: The business must be located in rural area.

- HUBZone-Located Business of the Year: The business must be located in a HUBZone census tract.

- Small Business Advocate of the Year: An individual who must own a small business and advocate for small businesses either as part of their business or as part of their community engagement.

- Entrepreneurial Success Award: Individuals must own and operate a business initially launched as a small business according to SBA size standards and subsequently grown into a large business and they must have received SBA assistance to help the businesses grow.

Nominees must be residents of the 54 counties served by the St. Louis District office. All nominees will be subject to background checks. Small businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws. Consult the SBA St. Louis Office 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 these awards. Individuals may also self-nominate. Businesses may not be nominated for more than one award category.


Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for an award?

1) Individuals who have received that particular award within the past three years

2) Elected officials

3) Individuals or teams who own or operate a business defined as "other than small" (i.e. large businesses) for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards (with the exception of the Entrepreneurial Success Award & 8(a) Graduate of the Year)

4) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government


What information must the nomination package contain?

Nominations must contain the information below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

1) A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw For "team" nominations, a background form is required for each team member.

2) A completed nomination form for that award. Unless otherwise specified, the nomination form will be the SBA Form 3301, (Small Business Person of the Year) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw

3) An original 8" x 10" or 5" x 7" photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable. For "team" nominations, a photo of each nominee or group photo is acceptable.

4) Additional supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated) and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.

5) A description of the business to include any special highlights.


Eastern Missouri, State, Regional, and National Awards

Small Business Person of the Year Award

Nominees from each district will be forwarded for state competition. Nominees from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam will compete for the title of the National Small Business Person of the Year, SBA’s signature award. Nominees must demonstrate success in business as well as contributions to their local communities.

Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?

Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.

1) Any legal resident of the United States or its territories who owns and operates a business in the SBA St. Louis District or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business for a minimum of three years may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a "team," as long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4); and

2) Individuals who have received one type of SBA assistance such as, but not limited to an SBA loan, SCORE counseling, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) assistance, Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) assistance, Women’s Business Center (WBC) assistance, government contracting assistance, disaster assistance, Emerging Leaders Initiative, or Boots to Business training.

What information must the nomination package contain?

Nominations must contain the information below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

1) A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw. For "team" nominations, a background form is required for each team member;

2) A completed nomination form (SBA Form 3301, Small Business Person of the Year) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw;

3) An original 8" x 10" or 5" x 7" photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable. For "team" nominations, a photo of each nominee or group photo is acceptable; and

4) Additional supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated), and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.

What are the evaluation/selection criteria?

In evaluating the nomination packages, the judges will look at the following criteria:

1) Staying power — a substantiated history as an established business; including but not limited to expansion, exporting, addition of territories, or growth in square footage occupied;

2) Growth in number of employees — Increases over the three years must be in excess of growth in Gross Domestic Product;

3) Increase in sales, net profit, and net worth for the three prior calendar years, that is, 2015, 2016 and 2017

4) Response to adversity — examples of problems faced in the nominee’s business and the methods used to solve them; and

5) Contributions to community-oriented projects — evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources towards community-oriented projects.

What are the selection procedures?

Small Business Persons of the Year Award winners will be selected at the Eastern Missouri, State and National levels.

1) In those states served by a single SBA district office, the district office will select the State winner.

2) In those states served by more than one SBA district office, each district office will select a district level winner and the State winner will be selected at the regional level. The regional office will select the State winner.

3) The National Small Business Person of the Year will be selected by the SBA Administrator based on, but not restricted to, the recommendations of a panel of judges consisting of federal employees.

Small Business Exporter of the Year

SBA’s Small Business Exporter of the Year recognizes individuals for their success and dedication to exporting products or services.

Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?

Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.

1) Any legal resident of the United States or its territories who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business for a minimum of three years may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a "team," as long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4); and

2) Individuals who have received one type of SBA assistance such as, but not limited to an SBA loan, SCORE counseling, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) assistance, Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) assistance, Women’s Business Center (WBC) assistance, government contracting assistance, disaster assistance, Emerging Leaders Initiative, or Boots to Business Training.

Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?

1) Individuals who have received the Small Business Exporter Award at the Regional level within the past three years;

2) Elected officials;

3) Individuals or teams who own or operate a business defined as "other than small" (i.e. large businesses) for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards; or

4) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

What information must the nomination package contain?

Nominations must contain the information below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

1) A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw. For "team" nominations, a background form is required for each team member;

2) A completed nomination form (SBA Form 3302, Small Business Exporter of the Year) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw;

3) An original 8" x 10" or 5" x 7" photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable. For "team" nominations, a photo of each nominee or group photo is acceptable; and

4) Additional supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated) and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.

What are the evaluation/selection criteria?

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

1) Increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of exporting. Clearly articulate what exporting has meant to the company (e.g. exports as a percentage of sales, jobs created by exporting, etc.);

2) Creative overseas marketing strategies, exporting history, and current export markets;

3) Effective solutions to export-related problems, including trade financing, payment, and currency issues, market-entry and logistical challenges, cultural differences, etc.;

4) Demonstrated encouragement of other small businesses to export and/or volunteer assistance to other small businesses entering the export market; and

5) Effective use of Federal and/or State government trade promotion or financing programs.

What are the selection procedures?

SBA will make Small Business Exporter of the Year awards to eligible small businesses at the District, Regional, and National levels.

1) District offices will select one winner to compete at the regional level.

2) The Regional offices will select one winner to compete at the national level.

3) The National Small Business Exporter of the Year will be selected by the SBA Administrator based on, but not restricted to, the recommendations of the panel of judges consisting of federal employees.

District Awards

Who is eligible to be nominated for these awards?

Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult the SBA St. Louis District Office if you have questions.

1) Any legal resident of the United States or its territories who owns and operates a business in the SBA St. Louis District or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business for a maximum of two years may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a "team," as long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4); and

2) Individuals who have received one type of SBA assistance such as, but not limited to an SBA loan, SCORE counseling, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) assistance, Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) assistance, Women’s Business Center (WBC) assistance, government contracting assistance, disaster assistance, Emerging Leaders Initiative, or Boots to Business training are preferred.

What information must the nomination packages contain?

Nominations must contain the information below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

1) A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw. For "team" nominations, a background form is required for each team member;

2) A completed nomination form (SBA Form 3301, Small Business Person of the Year) which is available at www.sba.gov/nsbw;

3) An original 8" x 10" or 5" x 7" photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable. For "team" nominations, a photo of each nominee or group photo is acceptable; and

4) Additional supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated), and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.

What are the evaluation/selection criteria?

In evaluating the nomination packages, the judges will look at the following criteria:

1) Staying power – a substantiated history as an established business; including:

          a. Number of years in business.

          b. Sustained expansion, addition of territories, growth in square footage occupied.

2) Growth in number of employees – a benchmark to judge the impact of the business on the job market.

          a. Sustained over a minimum of three years.

3) Innovativeness of product or service offered – an illustration of the creativity and imagination of the nominee.

          a. Specific description of uniqueness of product or service.

          b. Explanation of how product or service fits a niche not being adequately addressed by the competition.

4) Response to adversity – examples of problems faced in the nominee’s business and the methods used to solve them, including:

          a. Specific description of financial, physical, legal or other crisis.

          b. Substantiation of the threat to the continuity of the business.

          c. Defined actions taken by the nominee to resolve the crisis.

5) Contributions to community-oriented projects – evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources, including:

          a. Listing of specific contributions of money, time or resources to charitable causes.

          b. Membership in councils boards and clubs providing support and services to the community.

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

 

Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?

Individuals or teams who own or operate a business defined as small for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards.

The Agency reserves the right, in its sole reasonable discretion, to remove a nominee from the selection process. All nominees will be subject to background checks. Adverse information obtained through the background check, including compliance with Federal civil rights laws, may result in disqualification by SBA.

All nominations must be submitted to:

SBA St. Louis District Office

1222 Spruce St., Ste. 10.103,

St. Louis, MO 63103

Attn: Gary Alexander  314 539-6612

Must be postmarked or hand delivered to the St. Louis SBA District office no later than 2:00pm CST January 9, 2019.