The U.S. Small Business Administration is once again seeking nominations among Western Pennsylvanias most noteworthy businesses for its annual SBA Awards program.
The SBA likewise wants to hear from those individuals and companies who act as selfless advocates on behalf of small business in the region. Nominations are due to the local SBA office by Nov. 12. Awardees are selected by a panel of judges from Pittsburghs business and business assistance communities and honored at a luncheon, which this past year drew nearly 500 attendees.
Award categories are as follows:
Entrepreneurial Success Individuals must own and operate businesses initially launched as small businesses according to SBA size standards and consequently developed into large businesses. They must have received SBA assistance to help the businesses grow.
Small Business Exporter of the Year This includes any individual who owns and operates a small business engaged in exporting, with nominations being judged for increased sales, creative overseas marketing strategies, voluntary assistance to other small businesses entering the export market, and effect solutions to export-related problems.
Small Business Person of the Year Any individual who owns and operates a business and who can demonstrate the following: staying power, employee growth, sales volume increases, improved financial position of the business, innovation in the product or service offered, a response to adversity and contributions to aid in community-oriented projects.
Welfare to Work Entrepreneur of the Year This is open to individuals who were formerly on welfare and became self-sufficient through entrepreneurship.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year This includes any individual who serves as a majority owner and operates or bears principal responsibility for operating a small business with a three-year track record, and who will not yet have reached the age of 30 by June 1, 2000.
Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery For any individual who owns and operates a small business that suffered physical damage following a disaster and received an SBA physical disaster loan.
Small Business Advocate Awards The SBA also gives awards to advocates in the areas of accountant, minority, financial services, media, veterans and women.
All nominations must be typewritten on one side of 8.5x11 inch white stationery, collated and secured in a 1.5 inch binder. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.
Nominations must include the following:
1. A single cover page with the nominees full name, title, business and home addresses with telephone numbers; the award for which the nomination is being made; the nominators name, title place of business, business address and telephone number; and a one-paragraph description of the nominees business, or in the case of the advocates, a description of his or her profession/occupation.
2. A completed SBA Form 898 (a biographical data form available from the SBA district office).
3. An original black-and-white photo of the nominee.
4. A nomination letter, not to exceed three pages.
5. A brief biography of the nominee, not to exceed two pages.
6. A business profile, not to exceed two pages.
7. A concise statement of the qualities and performance that merit the award, not to exceed four pages.
8. A financial statement of the nominee, not to exceed 12 pages.
9. Any other support documentation deemed significant by the nominator.
For more information about the annual awards program, contact the SBA at (412) 395-6560. Send nominations to the SBA at 1000 Liberty Ave., Room 1128, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.