Southwestern Illinois
2018 - Small Business Week
April 29 - May 5

                

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Small Business Week of Southwestern IL

2017 Award Guidelines

 

In recognition of the small business community's contribution to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Leading up to National Small Business Week (SBW), the Small Business Week of  Southwestern IL will host a special luncheon to honor and present awards to local Illinois entrepreneurs and business owners.

 

Awarded businesses will receive:

  • Recognition in local papers
  • Recognition in St. Louis Small Business Monthly
  • Customized short PR video
  • Link to Website
  • Opportunity to speak at the awards luncheon

 

Deadline:

The award submission deadline is March 17, 2017.

 

The nomination and selection process, evaluation criteria and time frame for the various Award categories is as follow:

The awards are:

  1. Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  2. Minority Owned Small Business of the Year
  3. Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year
  4. Woman Owned Small Business of the Year
  5. Small Business of the Year

 

Residency

All nominees for The Small Business Week Southwestern IL Committee Awards must also be residents of Illinois and have business operations in the State of Illinois.

 

Compliance

Small businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws and Illinois state employment laws and all Illinois state regulations and laws.

 

Ineligibility

Employees and contributors to the Small Business Monthly of St. Louis or the Small Business Monthly of Southern IL are ineligible to participate or receive an award.  The committee members or judges of the Small Business Monthly of Southwestern IL are ineligible for nomination or awards.  Family members of ineligible parties are also disqualified to receive an award.

 

Who may submit nominations?

Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the state of Illinois, including, but not limited to, trade and professional associations and business organizations may submit nominations for the awards. Individuals may not be nominated for more than one award category.

 

Disclaimer

The Small Business Week of Southwestern IL Committee reserves the right, in its sole reasonable discretion, to remove a nominee from the selection process.

 


Award Nomination Guidelines

 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

To be considered a young entrepreneur, the individual must serve as a majority owner and operate or bear principal responsibility for operating a small business with a three-year track record, and who will not have reached the age of 30 by June 1, 2017.

The selection criteria include:

  1. Evidence of success as measured by sales and profits.
  2. Increased employment opportunities created by the nominee's business.
  3. Development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods.
  4. Demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

 

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

An individual who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a minority owned business.  The majority owner must be a minority owner as defined by the State of Illinois.  See the rules for ownership and management later in the document.

The selection criteria include:

  1. Evidence of success as measured by sales and profits.
  2. Increased employment opportunities created by the nominee's business.
  3. Development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods.
  4. Demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

To Qualify for the Minority Owned Business Award, see the "Ownership" & "Management and Control" guidelines below , under "Additional Criteria."

 

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year

A military veteran who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a veteran owned business.  The majority owner must be a veteran owner as defined by the State of Illinois.  See the rules for ownership and management later in the document.

The selection criteria include:

  1. Evidence of military service (DD214)
  2. Evidence of success as measured by sales and profits.
  3. Increased employment opportunities created by the nominee's business.
  4. Development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods.
  5. Demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

To Qualify for the Veteran Owned Business Award, see the "Ownership" & "Management and Control" guidelines below , under "Additional Criteria."

 

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

A woman entrepreneur who has experienced the rewards and difficulties of owning a business.  The majority owner must be a woman owner as defined by the State of Illinois.  See the rules for ownership and management later in the document.

The selection criteria include:

  1. Evidence of success as measured by sales and profits.
  2. Increased employment opportunities created by the nominee's business.
  3. Development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods.
  4. Demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

To Qualify for the Woman Owned Business Award, see the "Ownership" & "Management and Control" guidelines below , under "Additional Criteria."

 


Additional Criteria

In addition to the above, the judges will look at the following criteria:

 

1. Ownership

  • The applicant business must be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one or more persons in the award category who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents, or in the case of any publicly-owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the equity of which is owned and controlled by one or more persons in the award category who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.
  • The company's business records need to clearly document this ownership, by providing stock certificates and a stock ledger in the case of a corporation or a signed operating agreement in the case of a limited liability company.

 

2. Management and Control

  • The business must also show that a one or more persons in the award category have management and control of the company. At a minimum, one or more persons in the award category must hold the highest office as outlined in the company's documentation. In the case of a corporation, that typically means that one or more persons in the award category must be president and that one or more persons in the award category must constitute a majority of the corporation's board of directors. In the case of an LLC, that means that one or more persons in the award category be the manager or must otherwise be granted operational control in the LLC's operating agreement.
  • Depending on the nature of the business, the one or more persons in the award category business owner will have to demonstrate the expertise, skills and experience necessary to be in actual control of the business. If the business is one that requires the presence of a licensed professional to perform certain critical functions, one or more persons in the award category should have the necessary license.
  • The business should not have agreements that indirectly have a material affect on the one or more persons in the award category ability to control the business. For example, if the business leases all of its equipment from a business owned by a woman's husband, father, son or brother, it is unlikely that one or more persons in the award category has sufficient control of the business to be considered for the award category.

 

3. Staying power

  • A substantial history as an established business, including:
  • Number of years in business; minimum three years
  • Sustained expansion, addition of territories, growth in square footage occupied.
  • Steady growth in net worth as evidenced by total assets less total liabilities on fiscal year end annual balance sheets over three years

 

4. Growth in number of employees

  • A benchmark to judge the impact of the business on the job market.
  • Increase in sales and/or unit volume
  • An indication of continued growth over the last three years

 

5. Current and past financial performance

  • Financial reports substantiating an improved financial position of the business
  • Profit-and-loss statements for the last three years, reflecting sustained upward growth.

 

6. Innovativeness of product or service offered

  • Illustration of the creativity and imagination of the nominee
  • Specific description of uniqueness of product or service
  • Explanation of how product or service fits a niche not being adequately addressed by the competition

 

7. Contributions to community-oriented projects

  • Evidence of the use of his/her personal time and resources, including:
  • Listing of specific contributions of money, time or resources to charitable causes
  • Membership in councils, boards, and clubs providing support and services to the community

 


What information must the nomination package contain?

  1. Nominations must be typewritten on one side of 8 1/2" x 11" white stationery, collated and secured in a 1” binder.
  2. Pages should NOT be in plastic sleeves, unless the plastic sleeve contains a photograph.
  3. All evaluation/selection criteria must be specifically addressed.
  4. A complete nomination package will also include, in the following order:
    1. Complete the Small Business Week Southwestern IL 2017 Award Nomination Form
    2. An original 8" x 10" or 5" x 7" photo of the nominee; or a digital photo - at least 300 dpi. Photocopies are not acceptable. For "team" nominations, a photo is required for each team member
    3. A nomination letter, to include a concise statement of the qualities and performance that merit the award, not to exceed one page. The nominator's name, title, place of business, address, phone and email must be included
    4. A brief biography of the nominee, not to exceed one page. For team nomination, a bio is required for each "team" member
    5. A business profile, not to exceed one page
    6. The nominee's financial statement - including balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements and financial reports - not exceeding 12 pages, on 8 h" x 11" paper - for the last three years
    7. Any other supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination. Supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages. Videos will not be considered.
    8. A completed Small Business Week of Southwestern IL CONSENT FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION Form.
    9. A completed Small Business Week of Southwestern IL CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY STATEMENT Form.
  5. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the buttons below to download the guidelines and required forms

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