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

National Small Business Week Awards


GrantWatch ID# 178025
Agency: Federal

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: 12/08/22 3:00 PM ET

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 from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

Exporter of the Year

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, Public Official
  • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Volunteer

Federal Procurement Awards:

  • 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

Awards to SBA Resource Partners:

  • SCORE Chapter of the Year
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award
  • Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year
  • Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

Small Business Investment Company of the Year

District Office Award(s)



Recipient

Eligibility
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
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. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
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 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.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?
1) Individuals who have received the Small Business Person Award at the State level within the past three years;
2) Elected officials;
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; or
4) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Small Business Exporter of the Year Award:
- Nominees for this award must meet both of the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
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.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?
1) Individuals who have received the Small Business Exporter Award at the Regional level within the past three years;
2) Elected officials;
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; or
4) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government

Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery:
- Who is eligible to be nominated?
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 2020 or 2021.
3) Business that suffered losses in a disaster that occurred during fiscal year 2019 but did not receive an SBA disaster loan until fiscal year 2020.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?
Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Public Official
- Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
1) 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 2019, 2020 or 2021. 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.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
1) Corporate entities; or
2) Individuals who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government

Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery, Volunteer
- Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
1) 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, 2019-September 30, 2021). For purposes of this award, a
private citizen volunteer is an individual who uses available resources to support the
recovery efforts of the community.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
1) Corporate entities or
2) Individuals who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award:
- Who is eligible to be nominated?
Firms must be defined as “small” according to applicable SBA size standards. For more information, contact the nearest Government Contracting Area Office.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
1) Firms that have received this award within the past three years or
2) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award:
- Who is eligible to be nominated?
Firms must be defined as “small” according to applicable SBA size standards. For more information, contact the nearest Government Contracting Area Office.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
1) Firms that have received this award within the past three years or
2) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence:
- Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
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.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
1) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government, or
2) Firms that have received this award in any of the five categories within the past three years are not eligible for nomination.

8(a) Graduate of the Year Award:
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
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, 2020; and
11) The firm does not have to be a small business.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated?
Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government

Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award: This award honors a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Service Center. Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government are ineligible.

Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award: This award honors the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government are ineligible.

Women's Business Center of Excellence Award: This award honors a Women’s Business Center (WBC). Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government are ineligible.

Small Business Investment Company of the Year:
- Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?
1) Only SBIC funds that have at least three years of operating history, are in good financial and regulatory standing, and have submitted their latest required annual Form 468 will be considered for the award.
2) More than one SBIC may be selected for the award.
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?
1) Portfolio entities or
2) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

District Office Award
- Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?
Nominees for this award must meet the following eligibility requirements. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.
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 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).
- Who is NOT eligible to be nominated for this award?
1) 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 or
2) Individuals or firms who are currently suspended or debarred by the Federal government.

Pre-Application Information
Deadline for Submission: 3:00 p.m. ET, December 8, 2022

National award winners will be announced during National Small Business Week – April 30 - May 6, 2023.

All nominations must be submitted electronically to the U.S. Small Business Administration district office BOX account in the state or territory where the nominee is located. BOX account information is available at https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

Nominations guidelines: https://www.sba.gov/document/support-national-small-business-week-award-nominations-guidelines

Contact Information
To apply, see the Award-specific upload links on the URL for Full Text link below.

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

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