Do you or someone you know have what it takes to become America's "Small Business Person of the Year" for 2016? If so, the U.S. Small Business Administration wants to hear from you.
The SBA's Buffalo district office has announced it is ready to accept nominations for its 2016 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year award.
The dedicated website http://awards.sba.gov provides criteria and guidelines for submitting a nomination. For 2016, the nomination criteria have been streamlined and simplified. In years past, there were multiple forms, letters and documents required; now the nominees are only required to submit one form and questionnaire.
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 this nation's economy. SBA will continue its tradition in honoring the nation's 28 million small businesses.
SBA Awards given in celebration of National Small Business Week and Buffalo District include the following awards (Buffalo District Small Business Week categories):
"During Buffalo's Small Business Week, we will showcase and recognize some of the most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs," SBA Buffalo District Director Franklin J. Sciortino said. "We are asking local chambers of commerce, business associations, lenders and other small business groups for assistance in finding and nominating candidates for these awards. "
"Over the next several months, we hope to identify outstanding small companies and champions and guiding them through this nomination process," he added. "This is a grassroots effort and the support of all those who make up the small business community will only help us to shine the spotlight on the finest candidates deserving of SBA's top honors during National Small Business Week."
Business owners from Western New York who have been named as the Buffalo District "Small Business Person of the Year," will be invited to attend the SBA's Small Business Week Awards Reception and Luncheon on May 11, 2016. National award winners will be invited to Washington, D.C., to celebrate during National Small Business Week.
Each state's Small Business Person of the year must meet criteria, which include staying power, growth in employment, increase in sales/unit volume, innovation, response to adversity and evidence of contributions to his/her community.
Champion awards also are presented to persons who have used their professional skills or personal talents to further public understanding and awareness of small business. Candidates must have taken an active role in creating opportunities to promote the interests of small business. Champion categories include women, minority, veteran and financial services. A champion may or may not be an entrepreneur.
Also, special awards are presented to the Small Business Exporter, Young Entrepreneur, Home-Based and Family-owned Business of the Year.
Nominations in the Small Business Person of the Year, Champions of the Year and special Small Business Week award categories can be made by any individual or organizations such as professional and trade associations, business organizations, chambers of commerce, banks or a small business' employees.
The Buffalo District office must receive all nominations no later 3 p.m. Jan. 11. To obtain information or receive a copy of the nomination guidelines, contact Kelly LoTempio at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 716-551-3249.
The Buffalo District Office of the Small Business Administration serves the 14 western most counties of New York, which include: Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, Orleans, Genesee, Alleghany, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Seneca, Yates and Ontario counties.