WAILUKU - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 Mayor's Small Business Awards.
The business recognition program is being held in partnership with the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
The awards honor outstanding small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that have had a Hawaii General Excise Tax (GET) license for no fewer than two years.
The program is designed to recognize businesses that demonstrate leadership in a changing economic environment, create a quality work environment for their employees, exhibit the aloha spirit and exemplary customer service, develop partnerships with other sectors of the community and demonstrate other exceptional qualities or traits.
This year's event includes six award categories: Exceptional Small Business of the Year for ten or fewer employees, 11 to 25 employees, and 26 to 50 employees; Outstanding Nonprofit Business (50 or fewer employees); Young Small Business Person of the Year (under age 40 as of Feb. 21, 2013); and Lifetime Achievement Award for any individual doing business in Maui County for more than 20 years.
All finalists and winners will be honored at an awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Waikapu Ballroom of the King Kamehameha Golf Club. Photographs with Mayor Alan Arakawa will be taken and presented to all finalists.
Winners will receive a Mayor's Small Business Award Winner decal, certificate from Mayor Arakawa and the Maui Chamber of Commerce and a commemorative plaque. The company or businessperson's name will be listed in press releases sent to the media.
"Small businesses are the true job generators and they risk a great deal to open their doors, create jobs, grow and stimulate our economy," said Arakawa.
"Maui County is fortunate to have many successful small businesses whose owners are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and ingenuity. I look forward to honoring them for their resilience and resourcefulness, and as leaders in our community."
Nomination forms are available at the Maui County Business Resource Center at Maui Mall, the Maui Chamber of Commerce and American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and First Hawaiian Bank branches. The form is also available online at www.mauicounty.gov/oed.
Chamber President Pamela Tumpap said that Maui's small businesses are "at the heart of our community. Their continued investment and steadfast commitment to their business and their employees create a catalyst that stimulates economic growth, ensures that needed products and services are locally available, enhances our community and improves life for us all. We look forward to honoring their tremendous accomplishments with Mayor Arakawa and his team."
The awards program originated with the Maui Chamber of Commerce, which first partnered with Mayor Arakawa's administration in 2004 to recognize outstanding small businesses in Maui County.
For more information on nominations, contact the Maui County Business Resource Center at 873-8247. For details on available sponsorships, or to purchase tickets for the awards banquet, call the Maui Chamber of Commerce at 244-0081.