There is still time to give an excellent local small business owner the recognition they deserve by submitting their name for the 2024 National Small Business Week Awards, which include a state Small Business Person of the Year, who will compete next spring for the national title.
The deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. The awards recognize “the outstanding achievements, triumphs, contributions, and resilience of SBA-assisted small businesses that help to drive the American economy,” the U.S. Small Business Administration said.
The awards will be presented during the NSBW Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., April 28-29, during National Small Business Week, which is April 28-May 4.
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, in announcing the awards earlier this year, said, “Small businesses power our nation’s economy and are the realization of the American Dream for millions of entrepreneurs. From mom-and-pop shops to innovative startups, small businesses create good jobs, provide vital services, and help define the identities of the neighborhoods and communities they serve. National Small Business Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate their achievements and the essential contributions they make across the country.”
The program’s featured award is Small Business Person of the Year. Nominees must demonstrate success in business as well as contributions to their local communities, according to SBA nomination guideline information.
Business owners from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam will be selected as individual state winners, who then compete for national Small Business Person of the Year.
Nominations for the Small Business Person of the Year award are open to any legal resident of the United States or its territories who owns 51% of a business, and has operated it for a minimum of three years before being nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a team, as long as it doesn’t exceed four individuals. Nominees also must have received at least one type of SBA assistance, including an SBA loan, SCORE counseling, Small Business Development Center assistance, Veteran’s Business Outreach Center assistance, Women’s Business Center assistance, government contracting assistance, disaster assistance, Emerging Leaders Initiative, or Boots to Business training.
Nominations may be made by individuals or organizations “dedicated to the support of the small business community, such as trade and professional associations and business organizations.” Individual business owners may also self-nominate.
Other awards are:
- Small Business Exporter of the Year
- Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
- Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery – Mitigation
- Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Public Official
- Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Volunteer
- Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
- Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence (for large prime contractors who use small businesses as suppliers and contractors)
- 8(a) Graduate of the Year
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award
- Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
- Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year
- Small Business Investment Company of the Year
Nomination details can be found on the SBA’s website.
National Small Business Week began 60 years ago, and recognizes the contributions of America’s 33 million entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to the SBA, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, creating about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the U.S.
“Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st-century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness,” the SBA said.