By Maria Valdez Haubrich

At a time when we yearn for an economic recovery in the United States, small businesses should be celebrated and honored for driving growth, innovation and employment. Dell is teaming up with sponsor partners MasterCard and Microsoft to search for “America’s Favorite Small Business.” Recognizing that technology is the tool that propels success, contestants must submit a short video showing why they should be voted America’s Favorite Small Business. The winner will win $25,000 in Dell products, Microsoft software, and a $50,000 MasterCard prepaid card to be applied toward business expenses and supplies. The winner can also promote their business through their own Web reality show on Dell’s YouTube channel.

Businesses must have less than 25 employees and will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Positive representation of the ‘American Dream’ (60 percent); (Originality of story and journey; Demonstrated entrepreneurial passion and enthusiasm for your business, with particular attention to customer service; Testimony that technology is a critical part of your businesses success; References may include but are not limited to the following: hardware, software and electronic payment such as credit and debit cards.)
  • Quality of Submission (40 percent); (Technical ; Story is relevant and cohesive to the contest.

The deadline for submitting a video is September 11, 2011. For more deadlines, official rules and to submit your video, go to