2013 Mayor’s Small Business Awards offers a chance to honor exceptional businesses

Small businesses are the engine of our economy—in case you haven’t heard that enough since the closing of election season—and now it’s Maui County’s opportunity to recognize and show appreciation to the best of the best on the island. The County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced in a statement earlier this week that they will begin accepting nominations for the 2013 Mayor’s Small Business Awards, which will be awarded to outstanding and exceptional businesses with 50 or fewer employees and that have had a Hawaii General Excise Tax (GET) license for at least two years.

The awards are designed to honor 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.”

“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 Mayor Alan Arakawa in a statement. “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 can be found at the Maui County Business Resource Center in the Maui Mall, the Maui Chamber of Commerce, and at American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and First Hawaiian Bank branches. The form is also available online at mauicounty.gov/oed.

There are six categories in this year’s event:

  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (10 or fewer employees)
  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (11 to 25 employees)
  • Exceptional Small Business of the Year (26 to 50 employees)
  • Outstanding Non-Profit Business (50 or fewer employees)
  • Young Small Business Person of the Year (under age 40 as of February 21, 2013)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (for any individual doing business in Maui County for more than 20 years)

All finalists and winners will be recognized at an awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at the Waikapu Ballroom of the King Kamehameha Golf Club. Winners receive an award decal, certificate from the mayor and Maui Chamber of Commerce, a commemorative plaque and the company or business person’s name listed in press releases.

Last year’s Small Business Award winners included Josh Jerman (The Wailea Group, LLC; Young Small Business Person of the Year), Joe Rossi (Maui Babe, Inc.; Exceptional Small Business with 10 or fewer employees) Grant Schule & Emanuela Vinciguera (Kumu Farms; Exceptional Small Business with 11-25 employees), Les Tomita & Mariah Brown (Da Kitchen, Exceptional Small Business with 26-50 employees), The Maui Food Bank (Outstanding Non-Profit Business), John B. Guard, III & Susan Guard (The Pet Shop, Inc.; Lifetime Achievement Award)

For more information about nominations, contact the Maui County Business Resource Center at 808-873-8247. For details on available sponsorships or to purchase tickets for the awards banquet, call the Maui Chamber of Commerce at 808-244-0081.

Photo: County of Maui