By Maria Valdez Haubrich

“Small business owners embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and strong work ethic that lie at the heart of the American dream. They are the backbone of our Nation’s economy, they employ tens of millions of workers, and, in the past 15 years, they have created the majority of new private jobs. During Small Business Week we reaffirm our support for America’s small businesses and celebrate the proud tradition of private enterprise they represent.”

Barack Obama, President of the United States

Mark your calendars for the SBA National Small Business Week May 16-20 in Washington, DC—plan to attend!

We also want to make sure you know about the awards given by the SBA during that week. Here are the categories:

  • Small Business Person of the Year (one from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam);
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year;
  • SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year;
  • Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year;
  • Entrepreneurial Success Award;
  • Phoenix Awards (for disaster recovery);
  • Small Business Champions (individuals or organizations dedicated to supporting small businesses);
  • Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year;
  • Small Business Subcontractor of the Year;
  • Frances Perkins Vanguard Awards (for use of women-owned businesses in government contracting);
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence (for large prime contractors who
  • use small businesses as suppliers and contractors);
  • Gold Star Awards (for federal government contracting);
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Center Award;
  • Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

Be sure to get your company nominated in time. Here are the key deadlines to know:

November 12, 2010 National Small Business Week 2010 nominations must be received by SBA district offices.

December 10, 2010 SBA district winners will be selected from multi-district states; state winners will be selected from single-district states.

January 21, 2011 A panel of judges will select state winners in multi-district states.

March 8, 2011 State Small Business Persons of the Year will be announced.

Get the guidelines here. Apply now!