The new year is here and we are again partnering with the mayor and his Office of Economic Development, headed by Teena Rasmussen and her team, to honor outstanding small businesses in Maui County.
All are invited and encouraged to nominate an admirable small business for the annual 2014 Mayor's Small Business Awards. The nomination forms are available at the Maui County Business Resource Center at Maui Mall, the Maui Chamber of Commerce at the J. Walter Cameron Center, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development in Wailuku, the Kuha'o Business Center on Molokai, and online at www.mauichamber.com, www.mauicounty.gov/MCBRC, and the OED and Maui Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages.
There are six different award categories that you can nominate a business in Maui County for:
* Exceptional Small Business of the Year (10 or fewer employees).
* Exceptional Small Business of the Year (11 to 35 employees).
* Exceptional Small Business of the Year (36 to 100 employees).
* Outstanding Non-Profit Business (100 or fewer employees).
* Young Small Business Person of the Year (under the age of 40 as of Feb. 26, 2014).
* Lifetime Achievement Award (for any individual doing business in Maui County for more than 20 years with the same for-profit company).
A new honorary award was also included this year. It is The Annette Pau'ole-Ahakuelo Honorary Award to recognize the accomplishments of this amazing woman and her assistance to the Molokai community and small businesses. This award is for Molokai small businesses only.
Appreciating the tremendous contributions small businesses make to our economic health and quality of life in Maui County, this year's theme is "Strong Businesses, Strong Community."
"Small businesses are the true job generators, and owners risk a great deal to open their doors, create jobs, grow and stimulate our economy," Mayor Alan Arakawa said. "Maui County is fortunate to have many successful small businesses that are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and ingenuity. I look forward to honoring them through this awards program."
The deadline for nominations is noon on Feb. 11.
"We are asking for active participation by our community to nominate deserving small businesses for these awards," said Rasmussen. People may nominate a family member, friend, associate, supplier, their employer, a business they volunteer, intern with or otherwise serve, etc. (No self-nominations or nominations of businesses owned by Maui Chamber of Commerce or County of Maui employees will be accepted.)
To be eligible, businesses must have 100 or fewer employees and a Hawaii general excise tax license for no fewer than two years. Criteria include: business leadership in a changing economic environment, a quality work environment for employees, the aloha spirit and exemplary customer service, partnerships with other sectors of the community, and other exceptional qualities or traits.
The beauty of this award is that all of the nominees and the winners are honored and promoted through various media and at the awards dinner on Feb. 26 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club's Waikapu Ballroom. Winners will be announced that evening at this exciting event.
Tickets to the awards dinner are $60 per person and available through the Maui Chamber of Commerce. The public is invited to attend. Event sponsorships are also available through the chamber. Please contact us at 244-0081 to purchase a ticket or learn more about the sponsorship packages.
We look forward to the nomination of many worthy small businesses this year and to honoring these businesses for their great accomplishments and investment in our community. We hope you will join us.
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.