The King County Executive’s Small Business Awards began in 2011 and is dedicated to celebrating the importance and the accomplishments of small businesses throughout King County. The 2014 Awards will be fourth annual event.
2014 Awards Event
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014.
Time: 7:15 – 7:50 am Continental Breakfast/Networking
7:50 – 9:00 am Awards Ceremony.
Place: Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.
Entertainment: Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline.
Tickets: $55 including the continental breakfast.
Contact: Sandy Hanks at 206-263-9717 or email
Nominations Period: May 1 through June 30, 2014.
- Online nomination forms will be placed on the website on May 1.
- Businesses may self-nominate as well as be nominated by chambers of commerce, cities, and business organizations/associations.
- Businesses may be nominated for more than one award, but multiple nominations require a new form to be submitted for each award category.
Finalists Announced: Early September. Three finalists for each award category.
Winners Announced: October 15, 2014.
Small Business Eligibility To be eligible for any of the awards listed below, a business must:
- Be located in King County
- Be for-profit and have been in operation for at least 3 years.
- Have no more than 50 employees
- Not have been a previous year winner or finalist. These firms are not eligible for nomination.
1. Small Business of the Year
The latest data available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that King County has 71,070 non-agricultural firms with employees, of which 95% have 50 or fewer employees. The challenges to running a small business are infinite and often daunting, but the collective contributions of small businesses are vital to 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.
2. Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year
The latest available data from the US Census Bureau show that minority-owned businesses accounted for 21.3% of all non-farm US 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.
3. Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year
The latest available data from the US Census Bureau show that women-owned businesses accounted for 28.7% of all non-farm US businesses. King County had the 14th highest percentage among all US 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.
4. 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, this award recognizes the small business that has achieved significant increased international sales through existing and/or new international markets.
5. 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.
6. Workforce Development 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; flexible work schedules or other ways to support work/life balance among employees; or other practices that demonstrate effective and innovative hiring, retention and training.
7. 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 rural small business that has achieved excellence in one of the traditional rural industry clusters – agriculture, forestry, equine, home-based, or other.