Nominations sought for Small Business Week Awards

Awards honor small businesses and individuals who create job and contribute to New Mexico's economy

Leigh Black Irvin
Carmen Martinez, director of San Juan College's Small Business Development Center, wants to see more San Juan County businesses nominated for the 2017 Small Business Administration's Small Business Week Awards.

FARMINGTON — The New Mexico Office of the Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for the 2017 SBA Small Business Week Awards.

National Small Business Week takes place April 30 through May 6. Nominations for the awards must be submitted by Jan. 10, according to an SBA press release.

Nominations are sought for small businesses and people who create jobs and contribute to developing local economies in New Mexico.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy," said John M. Garcia, SBA New Mexico District Director, in the release. "There are over 152,000 small businesses in New Mexico that employ over 331,000 individuals, or 55 percent of the state’s private workforce. As small business grows, so does our economy. We look forward to every opportunity to celebrate our state’s small business owners."

Nominations are open to all individuals and organizations, but only one nomination per award category will be accepted. Some national award categories include Small Business Person of the Year, Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award and Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award. A few New Mexico District Award categories include Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Family-Owned Business of the Year and Home-Based Business Champion of the Year.

Jordan Ripley, spokeswoman for the SBA New Mexico District Office, said all award winners will be invited to a ceremony in Albuquerque during the first week of May. Award winners in the national categories will also be invited to a ceremony later that week in Washington, D.C., she said.

Ripley said the SBA, which is a federal agency, provides several services to small businesses.

"We provide business counseling through our statewide partners, of which the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College is one," she said. "We also have capital loan programs. We work with a variety of lenders and act as a bridge to help prepare small business owners to apply for a loan, and we can help small businesses get a foot in the door to get federal contracts. Finally, we offer loan programs for home owners and business owners after a federal disaster has been declared."

Ripley said self-nominations for businesses and individuals will also be accepted.

"We would love to have some nominations from the Four Corners," she said.

Carmen Martinez, director of the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College, said there is usually a lack of nominations for Small Business Week Awards among San Juan County businesses.

"There aren’t generally many nominations from this area, only because companies aren’t willing to share information," she said, adding that information submitted as part of the nomination is used only as an evaluation tool and is not made public.

Martinez said she hopes more local businesses will nominate themselves this year.

"The recognition is good, and it would be really good for the companies," she said.

Guidelines and the nomination form for the awards can be found at

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.