How it Works


July 1, 2015 - October 15, 2015


October 16, 2015 - November 5, 2015

Judging Panel goes to work

Awards & Ceremony

Winners announced the week of November 16, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on the links below to get the answers to your questions.

How do I nominate?
Click the NOMINATE button on the navigation bar. Fill out the form. Be sure to click submit at the end.

Who is eligible to be nominated?
A person, company or organization in North America that has accomplished or produced something that positively impacts a group of small businesses. More in the Rules

How will voting be conducted?
Anyone can vote once per nominee. Vote for as many nominees as you wish.

What's the purpose of voting?
The purpose of voting is to show your support. The small business market doesn't always get the same recognition as other markets. Voting gives the community a chance to give a big thumbs up to the people and entities that support them.

Who are the Judges?
The judges are people who live, breathe, eat and sleep things small-business, with a variety of backgrounds. See the judges page.

What do winners get?
The winners get much-deserved recognition for their contributions to the small business market. Recognition will be online. Champions will receive press opportunities.

Why didn't my nomination show up right away?
All nominations are subject to review for eligibility. Nominations also may be adjusted for proper categories, typos, and other editorial reasons. We will strive to review all nominations as quickly as possible, within 48 hours.

What types of Awards are there?
There are two types of Awards: Community Choice, and Top 100 Influencer Champions.

The Community Choice Awards are based solely on the popular vote. The top 5 vote getters in each of 6 main categories will be named as Community Choice Award winners. The Community Choice Award winners will be recognized online and are permitted to display an official Community Choice winner’s insignia. For the 2 special award categories - Marketing Campaign and Growth Story - only the top vote getter will be named Community Choice Winner.

The Top 100 Influencer Champions is a judged Award taking into account the contributions of the nominee based on the Judges’ knowledge and experience, together with the community voting. The results will be based 60% on the Judges’ combined vote and 40% on the community vote.

Can sponsors win Awards?
Sponsors may be nominated. They are eligible to be voted on by the community and to be included in the Community Choice Awards, if they are among the top 5 vote getters in their category. That’s because the Community Choice Awards are solely based on vote counts by the community.

Sponsors, however, are not eligible for the judged Top 100 Influencer Champion Award, but will instead receive recognition at the Awards Gala as a Top Supporter of Small Business, for making it possible to hold the Awards without charging a nomination fee for participants to enter and for their support of small businesses.

Why didn't I win?
The Community Choice Award honorees are determined solely based on community voting. Nominees ENCOURAGE their communities, followers, customers and the world to vote for them!

The Top 100 Champions is based 40% on the community vote, and 60% on the Judge's vote. Competition is fierce for these 100 spots. It's not just about being an awesome professional (to be nominated you probably are!) or that your company is an excellent vendor (again, just being nominated says much about the quality of your products and services). Rather it takes a track record of substantial contributions toward significant numbers of small businesses in the preceding year. Examples:

- advocating on behalf small businesses, e.g. through legislative change

- revolutionizing how small businesses do business or solve business challenges through introducing a new product category or a completely different take on an existing product,

- using educational outreach to help large numbers of small businesses grow, e.g. through webinars, articles, blogs and more, or

- otherwise having a large impact on significant numbers of small businesses.

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