As you may know, every year the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding small businesses with our Small Business Week Awards. In 2015, SBA’s Small Business Week will be May 4-8. Awardees at the SBA District Office level the compete for regional and national awards will be announced on May 7, 2015. However, thedeadline for nominations is January 5, 2015.In 2015, the Illinois District plans to offer four awards to small businesses:–Small Business Person of the Year–SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year. SBA’s 8(a) Business Development and Contracting program helps socially and economically-disadvantaged businesses obtain federal contracts over a nine-year engagement with an SBA team member.–Exporter of the Year–Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the YearOur awardees always express how much value they see in the marketing and promotion of the awards, and this year, the Illinois District Office is determined to build upon our past success in raising awareness about outstanding Illinois small businesses.The nomination process requires a small investment of the nominee’s time preparing the application, and the process is detailed in theNational Small Business Week 2015 Awards Nominations Guidelinesavailable at the link. A simplified document is also available with a checklist of required documents to help nominees submit complete their application packages as well as a condensed version of the Guidelines tailored to IllinoisFor the categories mentioned above, businesses can self-nominate as well, so SBA encourages you to share this opportunity with anyone you think would be interested. Finally, nominations can be submitted to the SBA Illinois District Office at the address below, or nominees can submit their information at the online awards nomination site, https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.