“The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking someone who could be Americas Small Business Person of the Year for the year 2000.The small business person represents the modern American Dream – the chance for someone with an idea and a goal to make the most out of his or her own abilities by taking that goal, that dream, and making something very real out of it, said Bob Meredith, the SBAs Seattle District Director. Small Business Week is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge with pride and gratitude the contributions made by Americas small business community to our nations economic growth and quality of life.Every year since 1963, the President has designated one week as National Small Business Week in recognition of the small business communitys contributions to the American economy. Over 22 million small businesses in the U.S. generate more than 47 percent of all sales in this country. Small businesses represent 51 percent of American domestic private sector output and nearly 55 percent of all innovations, according to the SBA. Small businesses also lead the nation in job creation, providing about two-thirds of all new jobs.Business owners from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam, who have been named as their states Small Business Person of the Year, travel to Washington, D.C. for three days of small business-related activities and meetings with government officials. One of the state winners is chosen as the national Small Business Person of the Year.Traditionally, the President of the United States announces the national winner during a White House ceremony.Each states Small Business Person of the Year has to meet criteria, which include staying power, growth in employment, increase in sales or unit volume, innovation, response to adversity, and evidence of contributions to his or her community.Advocate awards are also presented to persons who have used their professional skills or personal talents to further public understanding and awareness of small business. Candidates must have taken an active role in creating opportunities to promote the interests of small business.Advocate categories include Women in Business, Minority, Veteran, Accountant, Financial Services, and Media. An advocate winner may or may not be an entrepreneur.Special awards are also presented to the Welfare to Work, Small Business Exporter and SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Federal Government Prime Contractor and Subcontractor of the Year.Large companies that began as small businesses are also honored with the Entrepreneurial Success Award.Nominations in the Small Business Person of the Year, Advocates of the Year and special Small Business Week award categories can be made by any individual, or organizations such as professional and trade associations, business organizations, chambers of commerce, banks, or a small business employees.Nomination packages must be received no later than December 15 at the SBA Seattle district office, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA 98101.Nomination criteria may be obtained at http://smallbusinesssucess.sba.gov/. For additional information, contact Sherry Mina at 206-553-7316, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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