Don’t Miss These Small Biz Awards and Contests

There are some great contests and awards open for entry as year end approaches. Why not take a little time away from the holiday rush to enter? (It’s the only way to win!)
This list of contests, competitions and awards is brought to you every other week by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.

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love_a_local_business.pngLove a Local Business Hiring Grant Competition
Enter through December 2010
Enter by submitting a few sentences about why you love serving your customers and community. Each month between October and December 2010, winners of a $25,000 Intuit Hiring Grant will be chosen by popular vote on http://lovealocalbusiness.com. Judges will review the three monthly winners and choose a grand prize winner of an Intuit Hiring Grant worth $50,000.


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book-awards-square.jpgSmall Business Book Awards – 3rd Annual
Online – vote by December 15, 2010
The 3rd Annual Small Business Book Awards by SmallBizTrends.com are now open. The Book Awards celebrate books for small businesses and entrepreneurs. And since most such books are also written by entrepreneurs and small business owners, the Awards recognize their work. Ten winners will be named in the 2010 Book Awards, based on the number of votes. Vote for your favorites. You may vote once every day, per IP address. Vote for as many books as you wish. Currently there are 65 books entered in the Awards. If your favorite book is not there and it meets the rules, you can also submit it.
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extreme_payroll.JPGExtreme Payroll Stories
Enter by December 15, 2010

This contest awards participants with free payroll services for sharing their stories about how they’ve processed payroll under extreme circumstances.
To enter the contest, small business owners and small business employees who process payroll can submit their “Extreme Payroll” stories to the official contest site, and encourage family, friends and colleagues to vote for their extraordinary experience. The participant who submits the story that receives the most votes wins free payroll service from SurePayroll for one year. The participant who submits the story with the second-highest number of votes will receive free payroll service for three months.
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Lenovo_m90z.jpgSales Rescue Team Contest for Lenovo M90z All-in-One Computer
Enter December 12-16, 2010

Small Business Owners that want an easy chance for a new, powerful desktop computer will want to check out this contest with four ways to win. Tell your story of how your business is succeeding in today’s crazy economy in a blog comment. Sales Rescue Team is giving away a Lenovo M90z Touchscreen-enabled 23″ all-in-one desktop to one lucky winner. There are also 15 other sites giving away an M90z during December. Details at Sales Rescue Team.
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rome_chamber.jpgRome, GA Small Business of the Year
Enter by December 17, 2010

To be eligible for nomination, a business must have been in operation for at least five years, have 50 or fewer employees and be a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
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Thumbnail image for verizonsmallbizsat.jpgVerizon Supports Small Business Saturday Movement
Enter by December 20, 2010

Verizon is joining the Small Business Saturday movement to urge small businesses to support one another and to shop at a local small business in your neighborhood. To further support Small Business Saturday, Verizon will give a $25 American Express gift card to each of the first 800 small businesses that post a comment on this site.
To enter, in the comments section of this blog just write a short note about how another small business can use your services or shop in your store. Be sure to include your full name, the name of your business, your business’ address and website.
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small NYPL logo web.JPGNew York StartUP! Business Plan Competition
Enter by December 20, 2010
The New York Public Library, with its sponsor, Citi Foundation, announces the New York StartUP! 2011 Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs with cash prizes totaling over $30,000. The second annual New York StartUp! gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to bolster their business acumen. Competition is open to those who are 18 years of age or older; live in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island as a legal resident or U.S. citizen; and wish to start a business in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island.
1st Place Award: $15,000. 2nd Place Award: $ 7,500. 3rd Place Award: $ 5,000. 4th Place Award: $ 1,500. 5th Place Award: $ 1,500.
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NEbusiness.JPGNE Business Awards 2010
Enter by December 22, 2010

Note: This regional contest is open to companies in Northeast England – see website for details.
The search is on for North East companies with something to shout about for the year 2010. Have you launched a new product? Have you enjoyed success exporting? Have you been active in the community? Have you contributed to improving the environment? Or, have you just had a good year? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then there’s at least one business award category for you to enter.
Ten award categories include Company of the Year, Innovation Award, Newcomer of the Year and Small Business Award.
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Thumbnail image for verticalresponse.gifVerticalResponse Email Template Design Challenge
Enter by December 24, 2010

To enter the design challenge, design a compelling email template, following the guidelines in the official rules here. Package it up in a .zip file. Include the HTML, all required images and a screenshot of what the final template should look like, and email everything to: designchallenge@verticalresponse.com.
A panel of expert judges will select the top designs by December 29, 2010. These designs will then be posted for public voting from January 4-17, 2011. The top three winners will be announced January 24, 2011, and their template designs will be built into the VerticalResponse upgraded Email Creation editors for all VerticalResponse customers use.
Winners will receive Apple® gift cards for $2,500 (1st place), $1,000 (2nd place) and $500 (3rd place), and their email template designs will be featured for all VerticalResponse customers when they log into the service.
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battleoftheblogs.JPGSoftCity Battle of the Blogs
Enter by December 31, 2010

The Battle of the Blogs is a contest designed to discover expert blogs for each one of the categories on SoftCity.
SMB Bloggers looking to get some Internet recognition can nominate themselves for the Battle of the Blogs
– SoftCity provides a free banner and will help via social media channels to promote each nomination
– Best blogger (blogs) in each of the 6 categories wins an iPad, online recognition badge for their site, plus a targeted audience of new potential users, followers
Additionally – any user on the site collects SoftDollars (like a virtual currency that is discounts for software). For this month, users can donate their SoftDollars to 3 selected charities, see link for more info: http://cafe.softcity.com/secret-santa
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dreambig.jpgDream Big Small Business Award
Enter by January 7, 2011
The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club, is designed to honor U.S. job creators and recognize their significant contributions as drivers of economic growth. The 2011 application will become available starting Tuesday, September 21, 2010. View the eligibility and criteria to learn more and check out the Application Process FAQs for tips on filling out the application.
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coolcalifornia.JPGCoolCalifornia Small Business Award
Enter by January 24, 2011

The annual CoolCalifornia Small Business Award Program is administered by the California Air Resources Board. The program recognizes small California businesses (under 100 employees) that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and taken action to reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions and made notable, voluntary achievements towards reducing their climate impact. We’re planning the awards ceremony and reception for early May 2011 in Sacramento.
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fintech_innovationlab.JPGFin Tech Innovation Lab
Enter by January 31, 2010

Entrepreneurs developing mobile, data management and data analytics, security, social media and other tools can apply for a spot in the FinTech Innovation Lab, expected to open in May 2011. Six companies will each get $25,000, which will convert into their next round of equity financing. They’ll also receive workspace, access to users within financial services firms to test their products and mentoring.
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launchmaine.JPGLaunch Lewiston-Auburn Maine Contest
Enter by January 2011
The Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council (LAEGC) and the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce have launched an entrepreneurial contest that has an ambitious goal of connecting with youth who have roots in the local community, and encouraging them to consider starting a business in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. The program, called Launch L-A!, features a contest inviting young entrepreneurs to submit a proposal to start a business in L-A.
The winning entrepreneur will receive an equity infusion of $10,000 to $20,000 in seed money, along with a number of in-kind services for a year, including business consulting, accounting services, legal fees, advertising agency services, rent and more — all provided by Chamber members. Runners-up may also receive in-kind services. See website for entry rules.
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chicagosbdc.JPGThe CITI Foundation Business Plan Contest
Enter by February 1, 2011
For Start-up and Existing Businesses-Put your ideas on paper to find out if you have a viable business and compete to win cash prizes. Eligible candidates must attend at least one of the following workshops by February 1, 2011: How to Write a Business Plan; Understanding Your Small Business Financial Report Card; or Boot Camp – CORE Four Business Planning Course.
All registration forms and business plans must be received by February 1, 2011. Please review the checklist on the website for all required information. Or call (312) 673-3462 or e-mail sbdcduman@jvschicago.org.
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RIbusblan2011.gifRhode Island Business Plan Competition 2011
Enter by April 4. 2011
The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, open to everyone, seeks to promote entrepreneurship and development of start-up and early stage companies. Winners and finalists in the 2010 Competition shared more than $195,000 in prizes.
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If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Small Business Event Form (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your award or contest.)
To find other small business awards, contests, competitions and grants, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.
Please note: The descriptions provided here are for convenience only and are NOT the official rules. ALWAYS read official rules carefully at the site holding the competition, contest or award.
Laura Leites, Managing Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook