Isn't my company too small to win?
No company is too small. The 3 Tiers were created to allow judges to better assess smaller and micro business for their uniqueness. Cornerstone Data was named the 2015 Small Business of the Year with only 3 full-time employees, and Xclusive Events was named the 2016 Small Business of the Year with only 2 full-time employees.
If I’m not named a finalist I have wasted my time in applying for the award.
Not true! All applicants for the award receive publicity at the Small Business Showcase and on The Chamber’s website. The showcase provides a wonderful opportunity to network and show off your business. And don't forget how important being nominated can be for your employees. Use the opportunity to highlight their contributions to your success.
How will my small company's community service and employee benefits compete with those of the larger companies?
The judges take the size of the business into consideration when assessing these areas. We have seen many innovative ways of supporting the community or providing employee benefits within a micro business. Think about what makes your business a community asset and a positive environment to work. Community support and employee benefits aren't always measured by dollars.
What happens to the financial information that is requested?
The application requires submission of percent of revenue, profitability, and employee growth for a three year period. All applications remain confidential – only the judges have access to the information. Finalists for the Award will be required to submit an income statement and balance sheet for confidential review by an unbiased accounting firm. The auditor will review the information and provide the Chamber will a "thumbs up or down" on whether that business is financially secure enough to be in consideration of being a finalist. The Chamber and Awards judges will not see this information. After review, the auditor will destroy the information. A business may ask to have the information returned to them.
Can I talk with past winners to get their opinions?
Absolutely. We have a committee of past Award recipients who would be happy to share their experience with you and offer advice. Please contact Angie Elliott at 316-268-1129 for more information.