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Awards to USA Businesses and Individuals to Recognize Achievements in Operating or Supporting Small Businesses

National Small Business Week Awards


Agency
Federal

GrantWatch ID#
178025

Funding Source
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Array ( [0] => Guam (USA); [1] => Puerto Rico (USA); [2] => Virgin Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
All USA
USA Territories: Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 12/07/23 4:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Awards to USA, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Virgin Islands businesses, small business owners, and entrepreneurs to recognize their outstanding impact, innovations, and contributions to increasing the country's global competitiveness. Awards are intended to celebrate excellence in a wide range of areas.

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 community members from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. And in recognizing the changing face of America, the SBA’s National Small Business Week awards honor individuals and businesses that reflect the nation’s rich diversity.

Small Business Person of the Year:

  • One nominee from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam will be selected. Nominees must demonstrate success in business as well as contributions to their local communities.

Small Business Exporter of the Year:

  • This award recognizes individuals for their success and dedication to exporting products or services.

Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery:

  • Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
  • Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery - Mitigation
  • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official
  • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer

District Office Awards:

  • Nominees must demonstrate success in business as well as contributions to their local communities.

Counseling Awards:

  • SCORE National Chapter of the Year (COTY) Award
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award
  • Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
  • Women’s Business Center of the Year Award
Federal Procurement Awards:
  • Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
  • Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence
  • 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award

Small Business Investment Company of the Year:

  • These awards are presented to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), licensed pursuant to Section 301 of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, that have demonstrated exceptional participation in the SBA Debenture program to enhance access to capital for America’s small business.


Recipient

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community members from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Small Business Person of the Year Award:
Nominees for this award must meet both of the following eligibility requirements.
1. Any legal resident of the United States or its Territories who owns 51% of a business and operates a small business for a minimum of three years prior to being nominated may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4); and
2. Individuals who have received at least 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.

Small Business Exporter of the Year Award:
Nominees for this award must meet both of the following eligibility requirements:
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 prior to being nominated may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so 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, State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, or Boots to Business Training.

Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery:
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 that suffered physical damage following a disaster during the previous fiscal year and received an SBA physical disaster loan may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4).
2. Businesses that suffered a physical disaster loss and received an SBA disaster loan during fiscal years 2021 through 2023.
3. Business that suffered losses in a disaster that occurred during fiscal year 2020 or 2021 but did not receive an SBA disaster loan until fiscal year 2022.

Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery - Mitigation:
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 that suffered physical damage following a disaster during the previous fiscal year and received an SBA physical disaster loan may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4).
2. Businesses that suffered a physical disaster loss and received an SBA disaster loan during fiscal years 2019 through 2023.
3. Businesses in either period specified above that received loss-reduction (“Mitigation”) funding to make their small business more resilient from future events will be given additional consideration.

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Public Official:
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- A public official may be nominated for his/her outstanding contribution to a community’s recovery following a natural disaster which occurred during fiscal years 2021, 2022 or 2023. For purposes of this award, a public official is a person who has been elected to carry out some portion of a government’s powers, whether Federal, state, or local, or a person who has been appointed to a position at the Federal, state, or local level of government. In some cities, mayors or city council members are appointed, not elected. These “non-elected” officials are also eligible.

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Volunteer:
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- A private-citizen volunteer may be nominated for his/her outstanding contribution to a community’s recovery following a natural disaster which occurred during the previous two fiscal years (October 1, 2021-September 30, 2023). For purposes of this award, a private citizen volunteer is an individual who uses available resources to support the recovery efforts of the community.

District Office Awards:
Nominees for this award must meet both of the following eligibility requirements:
- Any legal resident of the United States or its Territories who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four (4).

SCORE National Chapter of the Year (COTY) Award:
- The nominations are submitted internally by SCORE Leadership.

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award:
1. Lead SBDC Centers may nominate SBDC Service Centers in their network.
2. Individuals or organizations dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, including trade and professional associations and business organizations, may nominate an SBDC Service Center for this award.

Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award:
- VBOC host organizations.
- SBA Regional and District Offices, individuals or organizations dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, U.S. Territories or District of Columbia such as trade, advocacy and professional associations, businesses, lenders and economic development organizations.

Women's Business Center of the Year Award:
- Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, the District of Columbia or US territories, such as trade and professional associations and business organizations, may submit nominations for this award.

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award:
- Firms must be defined as “small” according to applicable SBA size standards.

Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award:
- Firms must be defined as “small” according to applicable SBA size standards.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence:
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements.
1. Large prime contractors that have documented excellence in their utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors.
2. If a compliance review has been conducted in the past three years, the rating(s) received may not be less than outstanding.
3. One award may be made in each of the following five categories: manufacturing, service, research and development, construction, and utilities.

8(a) Graduate of the Year Award:
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements.
1. Firm must have a demonstrated history of successful performance on 8(a) contracts while in the 8(a) Business Development Program;
2. Companies and/or their principal owner(s) must not appear on the suspended or debarred list as published at www.sam.gov;
3. Firm must still be primarily owned, managed, and controlled by the person(s) whom 8(a) eligibility was based at the time of participation;
4. The firm must show reduced reliance on 8(a) contracts; the most recent fiscal year-end financial statement must reflect non 8(a) sales of 50% or more of total sales;
5. Businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws;
6. If nominee or nominee’s firm has an SBA loan, payment record must be satisfactory and the loan must be current and in good standing;
7. Firm must be in satisfactory financial condition (i.e. financial capability: sufficient capitalization, financial performance, bonding capacity, manageable debts). Applicants are ineligible if it is found that the firm, or any of its principals, has failed to pay Federal financial obligations;
8. For government contracts, the nominee must have performed satisfactorily on all contracts, and have had no terminations for default;
9. Before SBA publicly announces any awards, nominee must be cleared by the SBA’s Office of Inspector General and EEO/CR offices;
10. The nominee must be a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the 8(a) Program for at least one year as of April 1, 2022; and
11. The firm does not have to be a small business.

Small Business Investment Company of the Year Award:
1. Only SBIC management teams that have at least three years of SBIC operating history, have SBICs in good financial and regulatory standing, and have submitted their latest required annual Form 468 will be considered for award.
2. More than one SBIC management team may be selected for award.

Ineligible
Ineligible for all award categories:
- Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Ineligible for Small Business Person of the Year Award:
1. Individuals who have received the Small Business Person Award at the State level within the past three years;
2. Elected officials; or
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.

Ineligible for Small Business Exporter of the Year Award:
1. Individuals who have received the Small Business Exporter Award at the Regional level within the past three years;
2. Elected officials; or
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.

Ineligible for Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery, Public Official:
- Corporate entities.

Ineligible for District Office Awards:
- 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.

Ineligible for Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Awards:
- Firms that have received this award within the past three years.

Ineligible for Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Awards:
- Firms that have received this award within the past three years.

Ineligible for Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence:
- Firms that have received this award in any of the five categories within the past three years are not eligible for nomination.
- Firms that have outstanding tax liens, discrimination complaints.

Ineligible for Small Business Investment Company of the Year Award:
- SBIC Portfolio Companies.

Pre-Application Information
The 2024 deadline for submission is December 7, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. ET.

National award winners will be announced during National Small Business Week, April 28 – May 4, 2024.

Contact Information
All nominations must be submitted electronically to the upload link for the District Office where the nominee is located. For a full list of regional links, see https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/district-office-awards#id-local-award-categories-and-submission-links.

If you have questions, please contact smallbusinessweek@sba.gov.

If you have additional questions on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, submit them to contracting@sba.gov.

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