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

August 24, 2011

Three new categories have been added, Veteran-Owned Business Award, Innovation Award and a Small Manufacturer Award. Contenders have until October 7 to complete their applications.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – On August 12, the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) began accepting applications and nominations for its Annual KOSBE Awards from KOSBE clients, Kingsport Chamber members and non-members alike.

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

In addition to the preceding seven categories, we have added one award for the Innovation Award, one award for the Small Manufacturer Award and one award for the Veteran-Owned Business Award.

Selections will be made based on self-reported past financial performance (tax returns/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 and/or Sullivan County. 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 2010 reported revenue of the business must not exceed $10 million USD.

Past winners are eligible to compete again in categories other than those previously won.

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, 151 East Main Street, downtown Kingsport, TN 37660 or online at kosbe.org until 11:59:59 p.m. EST October 7, 2011, 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 8, 2011 from 6 – 9 p.m. held at BANQ located at 225 Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Kingsport, TN 37660.

For the second year in a row, SunTrust Bank is the Title Sponsor of the 2011 Annual KOSBE Awards.

Top-Tier Sponsors include: American Airlines, Brock Services, KNETIC Young Professionals, Pathway Lending and Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout PC.

Media Sponsors are Holston Valley Broadcasting Group and Kingsport Times-News.

Entertainment Sponsor is East Tennessee Eye Care.

Event Partners include: Divine Café & Catering, Express Signs, Flowers by CopperCreek, Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards, Pristine Springs and Urban Synergy.

“We are excited to announce we have added three new categories this year,” said KOSBE Executive Director, Aundrea Wilcox. “The Veteran-Owned Business Award is an important addition to our list of categories. There are more than 3 million vetrepreneurs who have served our country that have started their own businesses and we want to support and recognize them. Last year, the expert judges spontaneously insisted upon adding two award categories they felt needed to be included to complete the small business recognitions; The Innovation and Small Manufactures Awards. They are now permanent additions.”

Once again, this year’s awards chairperson Sonja Whitson, Project and Staffing Manager for Brock Services, says the annual KOSBE Awards present a unique opportunity to network with the small business community, as well as publicly recognize the accomplishments of those small businesses, while learning from a highly regarded and respected keynote speaker.

“Last year’s keynote Michael Reedy, co-founder and immediate past President and COO of Pegasus Global LLC and now founder and chairman of Reedy Creek Vineyards shared a stirring and educational message that touched everyone in the room,” said Whitson. “Michael started his speech by showing us a clip from the movie, The Hurt Locker showing us exactly what Pegasus Global does and how important a role his company plays in the lives of our military in combat.” Pegasus is a defense and security solutions company that provides integrated communications and countermeasure platforms to the U.S. Department of Defense and other domestic and international entities.

This year’s speaker 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 will receive a KOSBE helm award on stage (runner-ups will also be recognized and will receive an award), recognition during Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE events, digital award emblem to display on their company website, spotlight on Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE websites and recognition in the media.

Last year’s winners included: Picsee Studio LLC (Young Entrepreneur — under age 40), STYLE Custom Framing & Gifts (New Business), SONALI Dayspa Medspa & Salon (Minority Business Enterprise), The Hair Benders Salon (Women-Owned Business), Performance Medicine (Business Excellence Employing Under 10 Employees), Cumberland Marketing (Business Excellence Employing 10 Employees and Up). The new Innovation Award was presented to Patient Scrubs and the new Small Manufacturer Award was given to Lifeforce Glass Inc. The recipient of the Impact Award was presented to Dava Snyder with The Village at Allandale.

Other past winners: 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 pickup the 2011 KOSBE Award Application 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 at 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: 2011 KOSBE Awards Entry, Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), 151 E Main Street, Kingsport, TN 37660. Fax (423) 392-8839.

“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.