Small Business of the Year

2018 Nomination Form

Hampton Roads is home to an abundance of top notch small businesses, young entrepreneurs, flourishing startups and small business leaders working every day to strengthen our small business community. Recognize your favorite small business, start up or small business leader. Nominate them today for a Small Business of the Year Award.

Award Criteria

Fill out the form below to nominate a business for one of the following awards:

  • Small Business of the Year
  • YEA! Young Entrepreneur Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Top to Watch

Nomination Form
The Nominee
Your Details

Award Requirements:

  • Small Business of the Year Award
    • Fewer than 250 employees
    • Gross revenues of less than $10 million in 2017
    • In business for more than 3 years
    • Eligible applicants will be judged on
      • Financial performance and business history
      • Staff training and motivation
      • Community involvement
      • Customer service
      • Business plan or strategies and goals
  • Leadership Award
    The Leadership Award is presented to an individual demonstrating leadership, impact on workplace culture, community service and involvement, professional achievement, and perseverance. Any individual may nominate a leader for this award. The individual nominating must complete the leadership award application.
  • Young Entrepreneur Award
    The Award for Young Entrepreneur is presented to a standout young entrepreneur in the Hampton Roads region. The award recognizes young entrepreneurs who have taken the risk of starting and running their own business in Hampton Roads. Candidates for this award will be judged on business strategies, financial success, and community involvement.
  • Top to Watch
    Similar to the requirements for the Small Business of the Year, this award is for those who have been operating less than three years.

Deadline for all nominations is January 26, 2018

Application deadline for all nominees is February 16, 2018

  (Pictured here: Drew Lumpkin Regional Director with US Senator Mark Warner; Bryan Stephens, CEO & President of the Hampton Roads Chamber; Dr. Elizabeth Upchurch and Christina Sims of Beach Pet Hospital; Taylor Harrell, President Southern Bank & Trust Company; and Mike Herron, Publisher, Inside Business.)
(Pictured here: Drew Lumpkin Regional Director with US Senator Mark Warner; Bryan Stephens, CEO & President of the Hampton Roads Chamber; Dr. Elizabeth Upchurch and Christina Sims of Beach Pet Hospital; Taylor Harrell, President Southern Bank & Trust Company; and Mike Herron, Publisher, Inside Business.)

"We are very, very proud to be such an important part of an amazing community," said Dr. Elizabeth Upchurch as her company, Beach Pet Hospital, took home the overall title of Hampton Roads Chamber 2017 Small Business of the Year. Dr. Upchurch knew she had already won The Hampton Roads Virginia Beach Small Business of the Year before the ceremony on May 2, 2017. The overall winner was a welcome surprise to Dr. Upchurch and her team. The judges noted the extreme levels of customer service Beach Pet Hospital staff delivers to their customers, both two and four-legged.

And One Marketing took home the inaugural Top to Watch 2017 award. The Top to Watch award honors emerging businesses via a people’s choice vote. This category is for businesses that have been in business for less than 3 years but are making big strides in the local small business community. In its first year, the Top to Watch award registered over 7,000 votes, with And One Marketing taking home the win. "The best decision we made was to join the Chamber" said Renée Ainslie-Rodriguez of And One Marketing, "thank you to all our supportive clients and thank you to everyone that voted."

The Small Business of the Year Awards, presented by Southern Bank, awards a small business of the year from every Southside city before the overall winner is chosen by a panel of judges. This year the city winners were as follows:

Two other award winners were announced previously, Christina Sims of Beach Pet Hospital won the 2017 G& W Leadership Award while Christine Holley of Wasserhund Brewing Company won the Young Entrepreneur Award.

The Small Business of the Year awards coincides with National Small Business Week which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Small businesses account for approximately 85% of the Hampton Roads Chamber’s total membership and we do everything possible to ensure their success. The Small Business of the Year Awards is one of many ways we support our small business members. The Hampton Roads Chamber is the premier pro-business organization serving as an Impactful Advocate, Powerful Economic Partner, and Inspiring Ignitor in order to set the conditions for other businesses to be successful, large and small. Congratulations again to all our 2017 winners!

Thank you to our 2017 sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: Southern Bank; Workforce Development Sponsor: Opportunity Inc.,’ Platinum Sponsor: Cox Business; Media Sponsor: Inside Business; Video Production Sponsor: Neptune Video Creations; Award Sponsor: G&W Gifts and Awards; Banner Sponsor: SpeedPro Imaging Norfolk; AV Sponsor: Elite Audio-Visual Elements.

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