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

Kingsport, TN, September 08, 2011 --(PR.com)-- 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 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 and/or Sullivan County. Entrants must hold an ownership stake in the business that is the subject of his/her entry.

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.

“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.”

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.

Anyone interested can pickup the 2011 KOSBE Award Application or download it online at kosbe.org.

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.

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.

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.

Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship KOSBE
Marybeth McLain, Small Business Services Marketing Manager
(423) 392.8811