SBInfluencer-color-300wAs a small business owner, you can likely list multiple people who have helped you get where you are. That might be a mentor, a company that provides great small business software, an outstanding small biz journalist, or an app that helps you get more done.

And while you certainly know the impact these individuals and companies have had on your own business, chances are, they don’t know. What better way to let them know how they’ve helped you than to nominate them for a Small Business Influencer Award?

What it Is

Now in its fourth year, the Small Business Influencer Awards honor those people and companies that have impacted small businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a partnership between my brand, Small Business Trends, and Small Biz Technology.

We founded the Awards because we knew there were a lot of unsung heroes in the small business community. Sure, there are the big names you see headlining each conference, but there are also lots of others who are doing great things in their own circles. Those are the ones we hope to shine the spotlight on each year.

Who Qualifies

Nominees must be in North America, and must support, assist, or serve small businesses. There are eight categories for nominations:

  • News Outlets (media companies, newspapers, magazines, broadcasting companies)
  • Corporations (providers of products and services to the small business market, and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and advocacy and support organizations)
  • Journalists (individual journalists, reporters, editors, broadcasters, bloggers, podcasters, freelance writers)
  • Leaders (executives, academics, government officials, or key employees who are part of organizations serving the small business market)
  • Experts (mavens, authors, speakers, consultants, advocates, professionals such as lawyers or CPAs)
  • Apps (software applications, software as a service or SaaS, mobile apps, tablet apps)

Additionally, we added two special categories: Marketing Campaign of the Year and Small Business Growth Story of the Year. These two special categories are designed to showcase situations where small business influencers have helped their clients or customers achieve great results.

The Deadlines

We’re accepting nominations now until August 29, 2014. After that, community voting will be open until September 15. Additionally, we have a panel of judges who will also weigh in with their votes for the Top 100 Winners.

I encourage you to think about who’s influenced you as an entrepreneur and start nominating a few of them. It takes only a few minutes, and could mean the world to the people you nominate.

PS Congratulations to CorpNet and Nellie Akalp, both of whom were nominated again this year.