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Executive's Small Business Awards

The King County Executive's Small Business Awards are coming back in 2024! We look forward to once again honoring the people who have taken the initiative to create and build businesses that serve our community. The last few years have taken a toll on our economy, especially small businesses. Out of concern for people's health and well-being, we suspended the Executive's Small Business Awards during the COVID pandemic. We used this time to refine and improve the program, based on feedback that we've received over the years from past attendees, nominees, and award winners.

We want to give a special thanks to our event sponsors, cities, chambers of commerce, and small business organizations that have partnered with us every year to convene this event. These partners are rooted in commitment and passion to support local businesses and communities, and we are all stronger together because of them.

Register now for the Small Business Awards Luncheon to be held on Monday, October 7 at the Seattle Convention Center. Early registration tickets are $95, but only if you register before September 1. Award Partners can get tickets at a special discount rate, but they must contact the Seattle Metro Chamber directly at leighj@seattlechamber.com or 206-389-7311 to receive the discount.

Nominations Closing Soon

Nominations Closing Soon

Submit your nominees for the 2024 Executive's Small Business Awards! Nominations will close July 31, 2024.

Register for the Small Business Awards Luncheon, October 7

Early registration is now open for the Executive's Small Business Awards Luncheon to be held on October 7, 2024 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Seattle Convention Center. Tickets are $95, but this special early pricing ends September 1.

Register for the Small Business Awards Luncheon

Award Partners can get tickets at a special discount rate. To receive the discount, Award Partners must contact Leigh at the Seattle Metro Chamber, leighj@seattlechamber.com or 206-389-7311.

Award Categories

Small Business of the Year

The U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 71,070 non-farm firms with employees in King County during 2010, and 95% of these had 50 or fewer employees. The challenges to operating a small business are infinite and often daunting, but the collective contributions of small businesses are vital to the diversity and growth of the county's economy. On behalf of all small businesses throughout the county, this award is given to the small business that best exemplifies the tenacity, perspicacity, and audacity it takes to successfully operate a small business.

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Survey of Business Owners showed that minority-owned businesses accounted for 21.3% of all non-farm U.S. businesses. King County's percentage of minority-owned businesses was over 13%. Given this significant ownership percentage, this award recognizes the minority-owned business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies the significant contributions made by minority-owned businesses in King County.

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 Survey of Business Owners showed that women-owned businesses accounted for 28.7% of all non-farm U.S. businesses. King County had the 14th highest percentage among all U.S. counties for women-owned businesses at 29%. Given this significant ownership percentage, this award recognizes the woman-owned business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies the significant contributions made by women-owned businesses in King County.

Exporting Small Business of the Year

Economies grow through trade, by exporting their products and services globally. This brings in income which allows wages to rise and the tax base for critical public infrastructure and services to grow. Consistent with the President's National Export Initiative to double our nation's exports in five years, this award recognizes the small business that has achieved significant increased international sales through existing and/or new international markets.

Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year

King County is a hotbed of innovation in the field of sustainability and has a rich history of environmental stewardship. This award recognizes the small business that has achieved excellence in the creation and implementation of sustainable business practices. Practices include waste and recycling programs, water stewardship, energy management, efficiency in the built environment, or any other significant effort designed to limit the way a business impacts our local environment.

Workforce Small Business of the Year

A skilled workforce is vital to the growth of businesses and our economy. This award recognizes the small business with outstanding practices in hiring, retaining, and developing the skills of its workers. Practices include on-the-job training or support for ongoing skill development; partnerships with other businesses, education institutions, community organizations or government agencies; internships, mentorships or other practices that allow young people to learn about and gain skills in the business/industry; or other practices that demonstrate effective and innovative hiring, retention and training.

Rural Small Business of the Year

The rural economy is an important link to the urban area and provides opportunities for residents to both live and work in the rural area. The King County Strategic Plan supports rural economic development that maintains the character of the rural area. This award recognizes the small business that has achieved excellence in one of the traditional rural industry clusters - agriculture, forestry, equine, home-based, or other.

Creative Economy Small Business of the Year

The creative businesses of King County make our region culturally vibrant and economically strong, while uplifting our quality of life. The award for Creative Economy Small Business of the Year recognizes the small business with outstanding achievement in the generation or production of art, film, music, design, media, architecture, fashion, advertising, or gaming, demonstrating agility and innovation in response to market need and contributing to the growth of the economy in our region.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Nominations have been extended through July 31, 2024.

All past winners from any year are ineligible for nomination.

Yes. A business may self-nominate or be nominated by a chamber of commerce, a city, or a business organization.

Yes. A business may be nominated in more than one category. However, you will need to complete a separate nomination form for each entry.

No. All nominees must be a for-profit business in operation for at least three years.

Yes. A business must have its primary physical location in King County to be eligible for nomination. Online-only businesses must be registered to a physical address in King County.

No. A business must have 50 or fewer employees to be eligible for nomination.

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