2024 SBA  Awards Nomination Process

Champion! Celebrate! Inspire!


Amidst the ebb and flow of challenges and victories in the business landscape, it’s vital to take a moment and honor the milestones we’ve conquered. Now is your time to shine and honor your entrepreneurial journey.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week Awards are now accepting nominations. It’s your opportunity to showcase your business narrative, whether it’s about pioneering solutions, community impact, or triumphing over adversity. Your story has the power to inspire and educate others.

Why self-nominate?

  • Earn Recognition: Secure the accolades your business deserves on a prestigious platform.
  • Boost Visibility: Expand your brand’s reach and open doors to new opportunities and connections.
  • Connect with Peers: Join a dynamic network of fellow small business owners, sharing insights and experiences.
  • Inspire Innovation: Your success story could spark innovation in others.

How to nominate?
Visit https://www.sba.gov/nsbw to self-nominate or nominate a deserving small business before December 7 at 1:00 pm PT. It’s a simple process with incredible potential rewards.

The submission deadline is December 7, 2023, at 1:00 pm PT.


September – October – SBA National Nomination Guidelines and National/Local Press Releases distributed to field. (SBA district offices provide local award nomination information to HQ prior to National announcements, so all can be released at the same time.

Early December – All National and Local nominations are due at the same time. The deadline for submission is December 7, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Early to mid-January – SBA district offices judge and select National award category winners. (San Diego District local award categories are judged after National award category winners have been submitted for State/Regional judging.)

Mid-January – District Offices forward National award category winners to Regional Offices for Judging (California State winners are selected by the Regional Office, as it is a multi-district state.)

Late January – State Sm. Bus. Person of the Year winner nomination packages are submitted for National judging. Regional winners for other categories are also submitted for National judging.

March and April – National winners are announced. Local winners are announced after National press releases are distributed.

Late April, early May – National Small Business Week events occur, including National award winner recognition event(s).


  • Nominations are reviewed for eligibility (all required documents submitted and complete, nomination submitted by due date, general eligibility requirements are met, etc.)
  • District office staff members review and judge nominees for each award category based on how well they meet the award criteria, using a 1 (least) to 5 (highest) scale.

  • Judging sheets are tallied to determine winners in each category. (To resolve ties or major differences, judges may meet to discuss their reasoning to determine a winner, or another judge may be added if needed.)

Note: Non-competitive award category winners are selected from deserving nominees submitted for the competing categories.

Learn about the 2023 SBA Awards winners