KOSBE Calling for Entries Early this Year in the Prestigious Small Business Annual Awards Celebration

March 27, 2012

Deadline September 7th: Applications now open to Sullivan, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins Counties.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – On April 1, the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) will begin accepting applications and nominations for its Annual KOSBE Awards from KOSBE clients, Kingsport Chamber members and non-members alike.

Again, this year there are ten categories of competition. There will be one award for the Young Entrepreneur (under age 40), one award for the New Business (in operation for at least 12 months but not more than 36 months), one award for the Business Excellence Under 10 Employees, one award for the Business Excellence 10 Employees and Up, one award for the Minority Business Enterprise, one award for the Woman-Owned Business, one award for Veteran-Owned Business, one award for Innovation, one award for Small Manufacturer/Fabricator and one Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate nominated by a business who is entering the contest in any of the above contest categories.

Last year, there were no entries for Minority Business Enterprise or Small Manufacturer/Fabricator.

Selections will be made based on self-reported past financial performance (tax refunds/financial statements are not required), growth in number of employees, business staying power and history, story of success, overcoming adversity, community involvement, marketing creatively and presented strategies for growth.

The competition is open only to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry, or legally established small business entities carrying on business for tax purposes in the City of Kingsport or in Sullivan, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins Counties. Entrants must hold an ownership stake in the business that is the subject of his/her entry. The business profiled in any submitted entry must consist of no more than 150 employees and the 2011 reported revenue of the business must not exceed $10 million USD.

Past winners and contenders are eligible to compete again. Applicants are not required to already be a KOSBE/TSBDC client or Kingsport Chamber member.

Application and nomination forms are available in-person at the KOSBE Office located inside the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, 400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100, downtown Kingsport, TN 37660 or online at kosbe.org until 11:59:59 p.m. EST September 7, 2012, contest deadline.

A panel consisting of local and non-local judges will review all submissions and select semi-finalists based on some or all of the following methods: completed application form, telephone interview, in-person interview, a video submission via YouTube (optional) and/or an oral presentation. The finalists and winners will be announced at the recognition and celebration event on Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 6 – 9 p.m. held at The Club at Ridgefields located at 2320 Pendragon Road, Kingsport, TN 37660.

“As a TSBDC Affiliate office, we are thrilled to offer all of our coverage territories the opportunity to compete in our annual small business recognition event,” said KOSBE Executive Director, Aundrea Wilcox. “Those territories include small businesses located within Sullivan, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock and/or Hawkins Counties.”

Once again, this year’s awards chair, Janet Callahan, senior account executive for Bristol Motor Speedway, says “The annual KOSBE Awards present a unique opportunity to spotlight and promote successful small businesses operating in our region that create jobs and who are involved in their community.”

“Last year’s keynote Bill Gatton, owner and general manager of Bill Gatton Chevrolet-Cadillac and Bill Gatton Honda shared his story of how he transformed one car dealership into a multi-state multi-million dollar enterprise aligned with various philanthropic organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others,” said Callahan.

This year’s speaker who has over 30 years of experience in the coal industry, starting as an engineer and has been profiled on Frobes.com will have a story and lesson to share that is just as relevant and inspiring to today’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Each winner and runner-ups will receive a KOSBE award and recognition during Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE events, spotlight on Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE websites and recognition in the social and traditional media.

Last year’s winners included: Tal’s Auto and Truck Repair (Young Entrepreneur — under age 40), Rasnick Family Chiropractic (New Business), The Village at Allandale (Innovation), Hillhouse Graphic Design (Business Excellence Employing Under 10 Employees), Aldebaran Financial (Veteran-Owned Business), F & L Limo & Livery (Women-Owned Business), Lake Pointe (Business Excellence Employing 10 Employees and Up).

The recipient of the Impact Award was presented to Kathy Richards with AdviCoach.

Other past winners: Picsee Studio (2010), STYLE Custom Framing (2010), Performance Medicine (2010), Cumberland Marketing (2010), The HairBenders Salon (2010), Patient Scrubs (2010), Lifeforce Glass, Inc. (2010), Dava Snyder of The Village at Allandale (2010), Edo Sushi Bar & Grill (2009), Phil’s Dream Pit LLC (2009), Maxwell Coach Company (2009), Clean + Safe Janitorial Services (2009), Joyce Grills of The Haggle Shop (2009), Elixir Media Group (2008), Flowers by CopperCreek (2008), Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards (2008), Interim Healthcare of East Tennessee (2008), Charlie Dotson of TCI Group (2008), Dr. Jerry Miller of Holston Medical Group (2008), Trigger Beeler's Salsas & BBQ Sauces (2007), Tutoring Solutions (2007), AYP Automotive Service Center (2006), Lucent Glow (2006), Tricitiessports.com (2006), Clean & Safe LLC (2005), Landmark GIS (2005), Decor Exchange (2004), Tennessee Valley Manufacturing Solutions, Inc. (2003), MR Cleaners (2000), Creative Solutions Design Group (1999), Tactical Systems Inc. (1997), Warranty One Mobile Mower Repair (1996) and Auto Masters (1994.)

Anyone interested can pick up the 2012 KOSBE Award Application in person or download it online at kosbe.org. Past KOSBE Award winners may be nominated by KOSBE/TSBDC at ETSU for other State and National Awards such as the SBA Rising Star Award.

If you have any questions, call (423) 392.8825 or e-mail mmclain@kosbe.org. Mail, drop off, or fax your completed application to: Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, ATTN: 2012 KOSBE Awards Entry, Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), 400 Clinchfield, Ste. 100, Kingsport, TN 37660. Fax to (423) 392.8834.

“Like” the KOSBE Award Winners Facebook page, KOSBE – Award Winners to stay abreast of what’s going on with past winners.

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit tsbdc.org and kosbe.org or call (423) 392.8825. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe – The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE — The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.