Occasionally, there's an exception to the grind--a chance for a few outstanding small businesses to step into the spotlight and enjoy some national recognition for what they've built. One of those opportunities is coming up.
The Small Business Administration is looking for nominees for its annual National Small Business Week Awards. There are a raft of awards, including a Small Business Person of the Year from every state and a national winner, SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and Small Business Exporter of the Year.
On the vendor side, there's also awards for contractors, lenders, individuals and organizations who champion or encourage small business success. You can't nominate yourself--you'll need to get a local organization to nominate you.
My experience is that besides the personal satisfaction of winning, the list of SBA award winners is a great place to be for connecting with media and becoming the subject of news stories. I know I've looked it over many times through the years when I was looking for good small-business stories.
You can download an application here. But you'll have to hurry--nominations have to be in your local SBA office by this Friday, Nov. 13.
There's one other fun contest coming up for would-be small business owners--if you're handy with a video camera, you might win a free, brand-new TCBY frozen yogurt franchise store. You enter by making a two-minute video about why you should win, completing an application form, and send it in. You'll want to get busy making your video, as entries for The Great TCBY Store Giveaway must be in by Nov. 30. More about it on YouTube.