The New York City Commission on Women's Issues (CWI) and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today announced the launch of the "New York City Small Business Awards," an awards program to celebrate the achievements of women in business in New York City. Businesses eligible to apply for the contest must have fewer than 100 employees, annual revenues under $2.5 million, and must be established a minimum of two years and based in New York City. Entries to the awards program will be judged on business success, demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership and the benefits the enterprise provides to women in New York City.
"We are looking for businesses that can serve as a role model for other entrepreneurs," said CWI Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs. "We want to encourage women to start their own businesses, and we want to show entrepreneurs the many ways that the City can help them grow their businesses."
"With over 200,000 small businesses in New York City, their importance cannot be underestimated," said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. "The Bloomberg Administration recognizes this fact and has designated this agency to serve small businesses. With a revitalized Minority- and Women- Owned Business Enterprise program and a host of other services, including business incentives, procurement assistance, workforce development and help navigating government, I encourage all business owners to find out how SBS can help them achieve their business goals and potential."
"NYC Small Business Awards" is a public private partnership between the City and Federated Department Stores, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Deloitte, Estee Lauder, Jones Apparel Group, Coach Leatherware Inc., Tommy Hilfiger, VF Corporation, Women's Venture Fund, Kellwood, Health Plus, Kenneth Cole Productions, Meyer Corporation U.S., and Abigail Kirsch. The private sponsors have generously provided all funding for the awards.
The Program consists of awards that will be given at two tracks: Track 1 Applicants will compete for one of three first place $10,000 awards or one of five runners-up $2,000 awards. To be eligible for Track 1, the Applicant's gross annual revenue for the most recent tax year must be less than $500,000 and the Applicant must have fewer than 100 employees. Track 2 Applicants will compete for one of three first place $30,000 awards or one of five runners-up $2,000 awards. To be eligible for Track 2, the Applicant's gross annual revenue for the most recent tax year must be at least $500,000 but not more than $2.5 million and the Applicant must have fewer than 100 employees.
Small business owners can enter the competition and learn more about the program and the City's resources for small businesses at www.nyc.gov. Applicants can also call 311 and ask for the "Small Business Awards" for information on how to obtain hard copies of the application. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2004. Information about the program will be available through direct mail, take-one cards and posters distributed by community-based organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, Business Improvement Districts, Local Development Corporations, and merchant and community associations throughout the city.
Entries will be judged against other businesses of comparable size, based on actual and potential success, demonstrated entrepreneurial strength, and the benefits the enterprise provides to women in the City. A panel of successful New Yorkers yet to be determined will select the winners from the award applicants. Winners will be announced in December of 2004 with an awards ceremony to be held in January 2005.
Mayor Bloomberg established the NYC Commission on Women's Issues as an advisory body on matters impacting the lives of women in New York. The Department of Small Business Services makes it easier for companies in New York City to form, do business and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, promoting financial and economic opportunity among minority- and women-owned businesses, preparing New Yorkers for jobs and linking employers with a skilled and qualified workforce.