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sba-logo-op_original_cropRelease Date: January 4, 2017
Contact:  Heather Hines (305) 536-5521 x104
Release Number: S. FL 17-01
Internet Address: www.sba.gov/southflorida
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MIAMI – The U.S. Small Business Administration 2017 National Small Business Week (NSBW) Awards nomination deadline is fast approaching and the local office is seeking your nominations!

For the South Florida District, NSBW award nominations are being accepted in the following eight categories: Small Business Person of the Year; Small Business Exporter of the Year; Veteran Business Owner of the Year; Minority Business Owner of the Year; Woman Business Owner of the Year; Small Business Advocate of the Year; Financial Services Advocate of the Year; and Small Business Media Advocate of the Year.

“We eagerly look forward to this time of year – a time to recognize America’s entrepreneurs,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “Nomination packages are arriving into our office daily, and there is still time to submit your small business for our various award categories. The January 10th deadline is less than one week away, so I would encourage you to get your nominations in today!”

Business owners and advocates can self-nominate.  Descriptions of the award categories and instructions on how to nominate a person can be found online at https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/fl/miami/resources/2017-south-florida-district-office-small-business-week-awards-nominations-guidelines. The website also includes other national-level small business award categories and nomination guidelines.

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 Florida District Office, 100 S. Biscayne Blvd, 7th Floor, Miami, Florida 33131. Attn: Heather Hines.

The winners of the State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year and the Florida Small Business Exporter of the Year awards will advance to the national competition and be recognized during the National Small Business Week Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC April 30 – May 6, 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

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.

State Awards (in addition to both Small Business Person and Exporter of the Year)

Veteran Business Owner of the Year: 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.

Minority Business Owner 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.

Woman Business Owner 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 serve as a majority owner (51% or more) and operates or bears principal responsibility for operating a small business with a minimum three year track record.

Small Business Advocate of the Year This award honors an individual or organization that assists entrepreneurs through advocacy and other efforts that raise the profile, effectiveness, health, vitality, growth, or expansion of small businesses in the SBA’s South Florida District Office territory.  These efforts can target specific segments of the small business population such as women, veterans, minorities, exporters, and those small firms located in rural communities.

Financial Services Advocate of the Year This award honors an individual or organization that assists small businesses through advocacy and other efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of financial literacy or financial services for small businesses as well as those who assist entrepreneurs in obtaining small business financing. Nominees may or may not be small business owners. 

Small Business Media Advocate of the Year This award honors an outstanding journalist from television, radio, web, electronic or print media whose work supports the growth and expansion of small businesses in the SBA South Florida District Office territory.  The nomination package must include a minimum of three of the nominee’s originally authored and published articles or URL links to such content. 

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.  More information can be found at the SBA’s National Small Business Week website at https://www.sba.gov/nsbw/nsbw.

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