KOSBEs Call for Entries Now Open

October 10, 2019

Apply or Nominate Before October 31st

KINGSPORT, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2019 — Today the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) is pleased to announce the 25th Anniversary KOSBEs Call for Entries. Since 1994, over 100 small businesses have been recognized for their individual company achievements, contributions to their communities, and local economic development. The KOSBEs small business competition is open to any small business in the eight-county regional footprint associated with Northeast Tennessee.

There is no fee to nominate a small business or individual for the KOSBEs. The deadline for entries is 11:59:59 EST on October 31st, 2019. Small businesses may also self-nominate. Visit www.kosbeawards.org for the nomination forms, official rules, sponsorship opportunities, and details.

Nominations will be reviewed by an evaluation team consisting of five small business experts who will select the top businesses based on the clarity, completeness and compelling story provided in the nomination form. Next, the evaluation team will conduct scheduled interviews with the top contenders on November 6th and 7th. The interviews will last no more than 30 minutes – 15 minutes for the small business to present or “pitch” and 15 minutes for the evaluation team to ask questions and provide feedback. The evaluation team will reconvene at a later time to decide the winners, who will receive their custom-designed 25th anniversary awards at a special recognition gala event, Thursday, December 5th, 2019 from 6 to 9 PM/EDT, at Meadowview Marriott Convention Center in Kingsport, Tennessee.

KOSBE Chair-Elect Dustin Mohr of Martin Dentistry, and former KOSBE celebrity staff returning for a cameo appearance will be emceeing this year’s event. Mohr invites the public to attend: “Join us as we foster the entrepreneurial spirit. If you are a small business owner, submit your application today. If you are not, nominate a business you love to shop from and then come celebrate your neighbors and friends who are small business owners at the KOSBEs 25th Anniversary gala event on December 5th.”

A live on-stage interview with past KOSBEs winner, Hillhouse Creative Group, will take place before the 2019 winners are announced. The “Couch Interview” (with Jane Hillhouse and Jenny Kontos) will be conducted by Scott Robertson, Managing Editor of The Business Journal. The interview will center on Building a Small Business, Succession Planning, and Leadership Transition.

A reception will be held prior to the award ceremony starting at 6:00 PM, with live entertainment provided by Ella Patrick aka Momma Molasses, resonating with our Appalachian Highlands culture and diversity.

This year, KOSBE will also put a bright spotlight on Hal Carmack, a master builder and contractor who built 26 of Pal’s distinctive hot-dog-shaped restaurants. Carmack will be honored with a special Hidden Gem award for his significant but quiet contributions that have absconded from traditional means of recognition. Carmack will be 92 next year.

Seating for the KOSBEs is limited, as we are expecting nearly 300 attendees for the 25th Anniversary Gala Event – including past winners, small business supporters and friends of KOSBE. Early ticket purchases are recommended. Tickets are $85 per person and must be purchased in advance online at www.kosbeawards.org. All ticket sales are final and non-refundable.

So far, sponsors include: Phil’s Dream Pit, Millennium Auto Collision Repairs, Eastman Credit Union, Prendergast Construction Company, Eastman Chemical Company, Pathway Lending, Bank of Tennessee, NETWORKS, Triten Insurance, Powell Valley National Bank, Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council, Advicoach, Hillhouse Creative, Fanatics 101, East Tennessee Eye Care, Honda Kingsport, Branded, The Bagel Exchange and Food City among others.

About The KOSBEs

The KOSBEs promote economic impact by recognizing small businesses that are leading by example and making an extraordinary contribution to the communities they do business in. The winners exemplify leadership and excellence in overcoming adversity, and a passion for helping others succeed. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to other local small businesses, and they model best practices that will progress the region as a whole. For a complete list of past winners, visit www.kosbeawards.org.


The mission of KOSBE is to be the go-to organization in the area for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their business, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships.

To learn more, please call (423) 392-8811, or visit www.kosbeawards.org.