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South Carolina: Lets Showcase Our Small Businesses!

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) South Carolina District Office is now accepting nominations for its 2017 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year. This is how the South Carolina District Office and its partners the great work of entrepreneurs and small businesses that have made a major contribution to our economy. It is time for us to showcase our business owners!

State awards categories are: Female Small Business Person of the Year, Minority Small Business Person of the Year, Veteran Small Business Person of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. These awards are evaluated at the state level. For a full listing of awards, please visit the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s website: click here.

For information on qualifications for these awards and details on how to apply, click here.

To access the nomination form, click here:

NOMINATIONS DEADLINE is JANUARY 10, 2017.

National awards categories are: Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Exporter of the Year, Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award, Women’s Business Center of the Year Excellence Award and 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award.  These awards are evaluated at the state and national level. For description, guidelines and nomination forms click on the link: https://www.sba.gov/nsbw/awards

NOMINATIONS DEADLINE is JANUARY 10, 2017.

All nominations must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.  SBA will no longer be using the Small Business Week online portal. All nomination packages may only be hand delivered or mailed to the SBA Office. Email submissions of SBA Awards forms will not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable information (PII).  All nominations may be mailed to the U.S. Small Business Administration, South Carolina District Office, 1835 Assembly Street, Suite 1425, Columbia, SC 29201. Attn: Martin Short. Please click on the link below to access instructions and forms.

National Awards
Small Business Person of the Year: 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. Previous award winners include Equator Coffee & Teas, Pacifica, and Missouri Star Quilt Company.  

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. Previous winners include Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc., Sawyer Manufacturing Company and Baby Elephant Ears, Inc. 

8(a) Graduate of the Year Award: SBA will make the 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award to a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that has graduated from the 8(a) Program for at least one year as of April 1, 2016. The firm does not have to currently be a small business. 

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award: This award honors a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Service Center for excellence in providing value to small businesses from diverse backgrounds and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. 

Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award: This award honors a Women’s Business Center (WBC) for its excellence and innovation in assisting diverse women entrepreneurs by providing a wide variety of training and counseling. The award should focus on the work of the WBC and not on the host organization or the women’s business center director. Organizations hosting multiple WBC grants may submit separate nominations for each WBC.  

State Awards
Female Small Business Person of the Year: This award honors a female who owns and operates (or bears principal responsibility for operating) a for-profit small business. Nominees must have been in business a minimum of three years.

Minority Small Business Person of the Year: This award honors a minority who owns and operates (or bears principal responsibility for operating) a for-profit small business. Nominees must have been in business a minimum of three years.

Veteran Small Business Person of the Year Award: This award honors an individual who owns and operates (or bears principal responsibility for operating) a for-profit small business and who has been discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions. Nominees must have been in business a minimum of three years.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: This award honors and individual under 30-years-old who owns and operates (or bears principal responsibility for operating) a for-profit small business. Nominees must have been in business a minimum of three years.

Any individual, business or organization may submit nominations. Individuals may self-nominate.

What does the nomination include?

  • Completed Award Form
  • SBA Form 3300, available at SBA Background Form 3300
  • A high resolution photo of the nominee
  • Supporting documentation, including news clips, letters of recommendation and other evidence of the nominee's qualifications

All completed nominations meeting the eligibility requirements will be evaluated by a panel of both SBA and non-SBA judges.  Judges will individually score each nomination based on the evaluation criteria below. Winning nominations will be those with the highest combined scores. All winners will be confirmed by the SBA South Carolina District Office.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Financial Performance
  • Business Growth (eg growth in sales, employees, market, etc.)
  • Business Sustainability (eg # of years in business, etc.)
  • Innovativeness of Business and of Business Methods/Practices
  • Community Contributions and/or Involvement

Since 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions to their local communities and to our nation’s economy.  For over 50 years, SBA will continue its tradition in honoring the nation’s 28 million small businesses.