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Recognize someone ‘Living the American Dream’, SBA Small Business Week nominations due January 9, 2018

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, making up nearly 99 percent of businesses in West Virginia. Not only are they the engine of the American Dream, but they are the employers of our country’s workforce. In West Virginia, more than 50 percent of the state’s workforce is employed by small businesses. Now is your opportunity to recognize these entrepreneurs by nominating them for a 2018 Small Business Week award.

Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

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 others 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.

Award categories include: Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, W.Va. Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, W.Va. Young Entrepreneur of the Year, W.Va. Encore Entrepreneur of the Year, WV Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, W.Va. Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, W.Va. Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year, and W.Va. Small Business Champion of the Year.

While the award itself is nice, it means so much more to the small business owners and their employees. Here is what Jeannette King, the 2015 Small Business Person of the Year, has to say about winning the award. “Being named the West Virginia SBA Small Business Person of the Year was a humbling experience,” said King. “I know how hard all of the people at my company work to make SRE successful, so that award really goes to them.”

Small business owners put their blood, sweat, and tears into their company and while the award itself is an honor, the prestige that comes with it is an accolade of its own. Matt Knotts, the 2017 Small Business Person of the Year, says it best. “It was such an honor to win the SBA W.Va. Small Business Person of the Year award, and it has given our business additional credibility and standing within the community and helped with financing as well. It was definitely more than a trophy to put on the wall.”

If you have a small business you would like to nominate please visit www.sba.gov/wv. Nominations must be submitted by 3 p.m. EST, Jan. 9, 2018. Nomination packages must be hand delivered or mailed to the W.Va. SBA Office. Email submissions of SBA Award forms will not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable information (PII). Questions regarding the awards can be directed to Nikki Bowmar at [email protected] or 304-623-7445.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov.

Karen Friel is the district director for the U. S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office.
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