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Welcome to the "2012 Small Business Influencer Awards" produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology and brought to you by BlackBerry. The Small Business Influencer 2012 Awards honor companies, organizations, apps and people who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
In phase I, you nominate influencers. In Phases 2 and 3, you and an all-star judging panel will vote for the top 100. It all culminates with honoring the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in mid-August 2012, with an Awards Gala to follow in October 2012, in New York City.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE A SMALL BUSINESS INFLUENCER?
A small business influencer is a person, app, company or other organization that has made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. Impact may mean (i) providing products widely used by significant numbers of small businesses, or (ii) influencing significant numbers of small businesses by being a thought leader, or (iii) providing information or services of note to significant numbers of small businesses.
People, apps, companies and other organizations that fall into one of the following six categories may be nominated:
• Leaders (executives, academics, government officials, or key employees who are part of companies or other organizations serving the small business market)
• Corporations (companies that provide products and services to the small business market, and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and advocacy and support organizations)
• Journalists (individual journalists, reporters, editors, broadcasters, bloggers, podcasters, freelance writers)
• News Outlets (media companies, newspapers, magazines, broadcasting companies)
• Apps (software applications, software as a service or SaaS, mobile apps, tablet apps)
• Experts (mavens, authors, speakers, consultants, advocates, professionals such as lawyers or CPAs)
HOW DO WE NOMINATE SOMEONE?
To nominate an influencer, simply click on the NOMINATE button, and fill in the information on the submission form. Nominate as many people and organizations as you wish. All nominations are subject to administrative review, and may be edited for completeness, proper categories, accuracy, grammar and typographical errors. It may take up to 48 hours for nominations to be appear on the site.
WHEN DO WE VOTE? WHO GETS TO VOTE?
After the nomination period concludes, there will be a period for voting. When the voting period is open, voting buttons will appear on the site. To vote, simply click on the "VOTE" button for the person or organization of your choice. Come back daily and vote, between July 16 and August 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm Los Angeles time.
Anyone may vote. One vote per nominee per day (i.e., 24-hour period).
WHAT ROLE DO THE JUDGES PLAY?
Once the community has voted, the all-star small-business judging panel will cast their votes. The community vote counts for 40% and the Judges' vote counts for 60%. The top 100 will be announced in mid-August 2012.
WHO'S BEHIND THE AWARDS?
The Small Business Influencers initiative is jointly produced by Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology.
Small Business Trends is a highly popular, independent, small business, online magazine serving over 4,000,000 small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually. The site was founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell (on Twitter @Smallbiztrends).
Small Biz Technology is a media company which educates growing businesses with information on how to strategically use technology as a tool to grow their businesses. The site was founded by Ramon Ray (on Twitter @RamonRay).
LAST UPDATED May 1, 2012