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Huntsville-Madison County Chamber Small Business Award nominations are open

HUNTSVILLE — It’s the most wonderful time of the year … for Huntsville and Madison County small businesses.

In other words, nominations are now open for the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber Small Business Awards.

The annual event will be in the fall. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. May 3.

The Small Business Awards serve as a platform to showcase the resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that drive small businesses forward. From innovative startups to established enterprises, this event shines a spotlight on the remarkable individuals and organizations who make a significant impact on their communities and industries.

This year, the awards program is partnering with Huntsville Association of Small Businesses in Advanced Technology and The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship. There are also two new categories: Small Business Champion of the Year (Individual Award) and Community Impact Award.

The Small Business Champion of the Year Award is presented to an entrepreneur or small business owner that has demonstrated outstanding support, advocacy, and dedication to the small business community.

The Community Impact Award celebrates small businesses that prioritize giving back to the community.

For a complete list of rules to nominate businesses, click here. Some rules include:

  • Nominee must be a current Chamber member in good standing; membership and account must be current through September 2024.
  • Nominee must have been actively in business a minimum of three years (by Sept. 12, 2024); the only exception is the Emerging Business category.
  • Nominees for the Emerging Business category may not be more than three years old by Sept. 12, 2024.

This year’s categories:

  • Arts & Recreation Business of the Year – Recognizes a business or nonprofit organization operating within the arts and recreation sector that has demonstrated exceptional performance, creativity, and contribution to its industry and community. This award typically celebrates businesses such as art galleries, theaters, dance studios, music schools, recreational facilities, and other establishments that provide cultural enrichment and leisure activities.
  • Community Impact Award – Presented to a small business that has made significant contributions to its local community through various initiatives, programs, and activities. This award celebrates small businesses that prioritize giving back to the community and actively engage in activities that make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and the overall community.
  • Construction Industry Business of the Year – Presented to a company operating within the construction industry that has demonstrated exceptional performance, leadership, and contributions to the sector and community. This award recognizes companies involved in various aspects of the construction industry, including contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and service providers.
  • Emerging Business of the Year – Presented to a recently established company (less than 3 years old by Sept. 12, 2024) that has demonstrated exceptional growth, innovation, and potential for success within its industry or market. This award typically celebrates businesses that have shown promising signs of development and have made significant strides in establishing themselves as emerging leaders in their respective fields.
  • Engineering & Defense Business of the Year – Presented to a company operating within the engineering and defense sector that has demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation, and contribution to its industry and national security. This award typically celebrates businesses involved in engineering, manufacturing, technology development, and defense contracting. There are three awards in this category, based on size: Small, less than 100 employees; Medium, 101-300 employees; Large, more than 300 Employees.
  • Health/Social Services Business of the Year – A prestigious recognition presented to a company or organization operating within the health and social services sector that has demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation, and contribution to the well-being of individuals and communities. This award typically celebrates businesses and organizations that provide healthcare, social services, mental health support, rehabilitation services, and other related services.
  • Hospitality Business of the Year – A prestigious accolade presented to a company or establishment operating within the hospitality industry that has demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation, and contribution to the guest experience and overall industry. This award typically recognizes businesses such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, cafes, event venues, and tourism-related businesses.
  • Minority-Owned Business of the Year – Presented to a business that is 51% owned and operated by individuals from racial or ethnic minority groups. This award celebrates the achievements, contributions, and resilience of minority entrepreneurs and small business owners, highlighting their innovation, leadership, and positive impact on their communities and industries.
  • Nonprofit of the Year – Presented to a nonprofit organization that has demonstrated exceptional performance, impact, and innovation in fulfilling its mission and serving its community. This award celebrates the contributions of nonprofit organizations in addressing social, environmental, or humanitarian challenges and making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
  • Professional/Technical Services Business of the Year – Presented to a company operating within the professional services sector that has demonstrated exceptional performance, excellence in service delivery, and significant contributions to its industry and community. This award typically recognizes businesses such as law firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, architectural firms, and other similar enterprises that provide specialized services to clients.
  • Retailer of the Year – Recognizes a retail establishment that has demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation, and customer satisfaction within its industry. This award celebrates excellence in retailing across various dimensions, including but not limited to sales growth, customer service, product selection, marketing initiatives, and community engagement.
  • Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award (Individual Award) – A prestigious recognition bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, strategic vision, and significant contributions to their organization, industry, and community. This award celebrates executives who have displayed outstanding leadership skills and have made a lasting impact through their vision, innovation, and dedication.
  • Small Business Champion of the Year (Individual Award) – Presented to an entrepreneur or small business owner who has demonstrated outstanding support, advocacy, and dedication to the small business community. This award celebrates champions who have made significant contributions to the success and growth of small businesses through advocacy, mentorship, education, or other forms of support.
  • Veteran-Owned Business of the Year – Presented to a business that is 51% owned and operated by a military veteran who served in the armed forces. This award celebrates the contributions, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit of veterans who have transitioned from military service to successful business ownership.
  • Woman-Owned Business of the Year – Presented to a business that is 51% owned and operated by a woman. This award celebrates the accomplishments, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit of women entrepreneurs who have demonstrated exceptional success and impact in their respective industries.
  • Young Professional of the Year (Individual Award) – Presented to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated exceptional achievements, leadership, and contributions to their profession or industry at a relatively young age (40 years of age or younger by Sept. 12, 2024). This award celebrates the accomplishments and potential of young professionals who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary performance, innovation, and dedication to excellence.

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