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Dream Big Small Business of the Year

Celebrates the success of one small business and honors its contributions to the growth and diversity of the American economy. This award recognizes a small business that exemplifies the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and individual initiative. The winner will exemplify success and leadership in each of the following areas:

  • Business Growth and Performance
  • Business Strategies and Goals
  • Community Engagement
  • Customer and Employee Relation Practices
  • Innovative Business Strategies and Practices

All areas will be evaluated equally throughout judging process.

Emerging Business Achievement Award

Recognizes a start-up company that has attained outstanding business achievement with fewer than 25 employees and 1-3 years of full-time operation (not a buyout of an existing company).

Green/Sustainable Business Achievement Award

Recognizes a small business that has achieved excellence in the creation and implementation of sustainable business practices, including waste and recycling programs, water stewardship, efficiency in building environment, or any other significant effort designed to limit the way a business impacts the environment.

Minority-Owned Business Achievement Award

Recognizes a minority-owned, small business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies the significant contributions made by minority-owned businesses in the country. The business must be at least 51 percent owned or controlled by one or more U.S. citizens of the following ethnic/minority groups: African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and South-Asian Americans. The business must also have management and daily operations controlled by at least one (1) U.S. citizen of a minority groups.

Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award

Recognizes a veteran-owned, small business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies contributions made by veteran-owned businesses in the country. The business must be at least 51 percent owned or controlled by one or more U.S. veterans, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101 (2). The business must also have management and daily operations controlled by at least one (1) U.S. veteran.

Woman-Owned Business Achievement Award

Recognizes a women-owned, small business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies the significant contributions made by women-owned businesses in the country. The business must be at least 51 percent owned or controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens. The business must also have management and daily operations controlled by at least one (1) woman.

Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award

Recognizes a small business owner, founder or co-founders, aged between 14 and 20 (as of 30 September 2018) who have attained outstanding business achievement.

Community Excellence Award

Recognized a small business that has demonstrated exemplary level of leadership and community engagement to positively impact the quality of life in its community and to service the needs of its customers, employees, and neighbors. Candidates for the Community Excellence Award are selected from the final pool of Business Achievement Award finalists. Finalists will be entered into an online ballot, which will be used in the discretion of the judging panel, in consideration for the Community Excellence Award.



Small Business Series Partners