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Commerce Lexington's Small Business Awards are Back

By: Mark E. Turner, Commerce Lexington Inc.
By: Mark E. Turner, Commerce Lexington Inc.

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, Commerce Lexington Inc. began honoring the contributions that small businesses have on our economy. Since that very first Salute to Small Business event in 1986, the impact of small businesses on the global economy has become greater than ever before. In fact, small business owners have accounted for more of the job growth in our country over the last decade than large companies.

Recent research figures showed that some 93-percent of employers in Fayette County had 50 employees or less, and that number was 95-percent nationally. Consumers rely on small businesses for everything from home repairs to dry cleaning to computer maintenance to lawn care, and when people find one they love, they are loyal for a lifetime.

Just like our national economy, Commerce Lexington’s Salute to Small Business is transitioning to a new era by revamping its small business awards categories, criteria, and selection process for its 2010 celebration. These refinements will lead to more and better defined categories, more inclusiveness across the small business community, and the opportunity to be recognized on the state and national level.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2010?

Ø A variety of award categories have been added to not only include more industries, but to also recognize successful initiatives like green practices and innovation, as well as longevity in business and response to adversity.

Ø Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees are now eligible to apply. Previously, only those with 50 or less could apply.

Ø Winners in the eight award categories will be released prior to the Salute to Small Business Luncheon. An overall Commerce Lexington Inc. Small Business of the Year will be selected from the winners of the eight (8) award categories and announced at the Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on November 5 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Ø The overall Small Business of the Year chosen from the eight award winners is then submitted by the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center for state & national recognition through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Awards Program.

Ø Award winners in each category are provided with exhibit space to show off their products and services prior to the Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on November 5, at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa.

2010 SALUTE TO SMALL BUSINESS AWARD CATEGORIES:

Ø Green Initiative

Ø Innovation

Ø Legacy Award

Ø Minority Business

Ø Non-Profit

Ø Phoenix Award

Ø Small Business

Ø Young Entrepreneur

DETAILED CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS:

Detailed descriptions of the award categories are included in the on-line awards application at www.CommerceLexington.com > Click “Events” > Find “Salute to Small Business Link.”

ELIGIBILITY:

Businesses must be active members of Commerce Lexington Inc., and must have completed three (3) or more full years of operation and have fewer than 100 employees.

DEADLINE / ACCESS APPLICATION ON-LINE:

The application for the 2010 Salute to Small Business Awards can be downloaded at www.CommerceLexington.com, then find “Events” on the homepage, and click on “Salute to Small Business” in the drop-down box. The APPLICATION DEADLINE is 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2010. For more information or if you have questions, contact Katie Hardwick at (859) 226-1608 or khardwick@CommerceLexington.com.


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