SBA is looking for a few good nominees

With the increased participation in loan programs through the Small Business Administration over the last two years, there should be an ample number of applicants vying for the agency’s annual Small Business Person of the Year award in the spring.

But you can’t hand out awards without nominations, and the deadline of Dec. 3 is pretty close, an SBA staffer told me last week. This being a government operation, there’s quite a bit of paperwork if you want to make it to the White House for the national awards celebration in May.

Besides Small Business Person of the Year, here are the awards up for grabs for ongoing enterprises: Small Business Exporter, SBA Young Entrepreneur, Family-owned Business, and Entrepreneurial Success.

Then, there are the honors for those who advise small businesses: Financial Services Champion, Home-based Business Champion, Minority Small Business Champion, Veteran Small Business Champion, and Women in Business Champion. (You can search for all the winners from 2010 here.)

Yes, there’s an award for everything. And it’s rare for Philadelphia-area companies to win those national awards, but it does happen.

In 2009, the twentysomething founders of Turn5 Inc., a Malvern e-commerce firm that runs the website devoted to all things Ford Mustang, won the national Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. (The company was known as Xoxide Inc. when I wrote about it then.)

That win began with a nomination form filled out after following lots of instructions. Just think: Instead of roasting a turkey this week, you could be nominating an entrepreneur with a golden goose.

For more information, contact the SBA’s local awards coordinator, Jennifer Pilcher, at 610-382-3084 or by e-mail at