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KOSBE seeks entries for small business awards

Staff Report • Jul 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) is currently accepting applications and nominations for its Annual KOSBE Awards from KOSBE clients, Kingsport Chamber members and non-members alike.

Again this year, there are 10 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 and one award for Small Manufacturer/Fabricator. There will also be one Impact Award for an outstanding individual or small business advocate nominated by a business who is entering the contest in any of the 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 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.

"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."

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 a Kingsport Chamber member.

Application and nomination forms are available at the KOSBE Office, located inside the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce at 400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 100, in downtown Kingsport, or online at kosbe.org until 11:59:59 p.m. EST on Sept. 7, 2012 - the 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 a recognition and celebration event from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, at The Club at Ridgefields, located at 2320 Pendragon Road in Kingsport.

"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," said awards' chair Janet Callahan, the senior account executive for Bristol Motor Speedway.

"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 who has been profiled on Forbes.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 the runner-ups will receive a KOSBE award and recognition during Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE events, spotlight on Kingsport Chamber and on 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), and Lake Pointe (Business Excellence Employing 10 Employees and Up).

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

Other past winners include: 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.)

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.

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. To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online, by phone or e-mail, call 423-392-8825.

Mail or drop off completed applications to:Kingsport Area Chamber of CommerceATTN: 2012 KOSBE Awards Entry, Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE)400 Clinchfield, Ste. 100Kingsport, TN 37660Or fax entries to 423-392-8834.

To learn more, call 423-392-8825 or e-mail awilcox@kosbe.org.

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