Who can be nominated?

    The competition is open to all companies operating in Summit County and Chamber membership is not required.

    Can a business nominate themselves for a Business Excellence Award?

    Yes.  Any company is welcome to nominate themselves, regardless of its size, industry, funding or geographic location within the awards region – which is Summit County.

    I am an employee/customer of a great business – can I nominate them for an Award?

    Yes. We actively encourage members of our community to support the businesses they love by nominating them for a Business Excellence Award.  Employees can nominate their employer and customers are welcome to nominate any business they frequent. 

    How can I submit my nomination for the Business Excellence Awards?

    If you are an employee or customer of the Company:

    Please fill out the Preliminary Nomination Form HERE.  This is a simplified version of the Nomination Form and will be used to begin the process.  Once the Summit Chamber has received your nomination, we will contact the business, notify them of your nomination and invite them to fill out the more comprehensive form that allows the selection committee to choose a winner based on merit and specific measurables. 

    If you are the Business Owner or a Principal of the Company:

    You can fill out the official Nomination Form HERE.  Please read through the FAQs and sample forms which will assist you in putting your best foot forward.  Sections 1 and 2 must be filled out completely.  It is best to then review Section 3 and identify the categories that you feel best reflect your business’s accomplishments in 2019.  This may be only one category – or many.  For any category that you wish to compete in, you will need to answer all questions and provide clear examples of the accomplishments achieved.  Hyperlinks to news coverage, press releases or other supporting materials is encouraged.  Those that you do not feel apply can be left blank.

    Nominations will only be accepted via the online Nomination Form (see above for the complete form).  If you need assistance submitting this form online, please contact cheri@summitchamber.org for assistance.

    To further assist you in crafting your replies, we have provided a "sample" nomination form with completed answers.  


    How is the Business Excellence Awards different from other awards programs?

    The Business Excellence Awards is the only business award program judged solely by a panel of independent members of the community. It is not part of the “Best of the Summit” series sponsored by the Summit Daily.

    If a company’s headquarters is outside Summit County, but the majority of its business is conducted within the region, are they eligible to apply?

    Yes. A company with multiple locations is eligible to enter the Business Excellence Awards as long as it has business operations in the region. This includes companies whose headquarters might be located outside the region, but which have offices in the region.

    When are nominations accepted?

    Nominations for the 2019 Business Excellence Awards will be accepted beginning January 6, 2020 through 11:59 pm, January 31, 2020.  

    Can a business be nominated in more than one category?

    Yes, companies can be self-nominated or nominated by someone else in as many categories of the Business Excellence Awards as they feel are applicable. Every category is judged by different criteria and every category garners a different pool of entries, some attracting many more entries than others. The best way to increase your chances at winning is to enter multiple categories.

    My nominee won an award last year, can I submit them in the same category?

    No. A company cannot be considered for the same category they have won for two years. They are eligible again in the third year after their win.  But we invite you to submit in other categories that might be appropriate.

    How can I determine which size category a business falls within for the Business of the Year award?

    Business size is determined by the number of full-time employees (FTE) in Summit County. (Please note that part-time employees equal ½ of a full-time employee, rounded down to the nearest whole number.  Therefore, if you had 4 FTE and 5 part-time employees, working in Summit County, your company would have 6 FTEs for this purpose.)

    When answering the questions, do I have to focus on accomplishments in 2019?

    Yes.  Please describe specific accomplishments relevant to the award category under consideration during the 2019 calendar year, relating them to past performance or industry norms. Make sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and results achieved.

    Is there a word limit for my answers?

    Yes. Each answer is restricted to a maximum of 250 words.  Unfortunately, our system is VERY sensitive and will not accept forms with 251+ words in any field.  In addition, it will NOT send an error message alerting you to this fact.  Therefore, it is incumbent on the submitter to adhere strictly to 250 words or less and verify that they receive a submission confirmation upon completion.

    It is highly suggested that you print a copy of the Nomination Form and use it to write your answers in a separate program taking careful note of the word count.  Once your answers are perfected, these can then be cut and paste into the online entry form.  This will minimize chances for data loss as the form cannot be saved and returned to at a later date.

    Are entry forms kept confidential?

    Yes. The Business Excellence Awards organizers distribute award entries only to the authorized judges selected to review entries. The entries and the underlying information about the nominees will not be released to anyone else without prior approval from the entrant. Furthermore, no entries, including the winning entries, will be posted in whole or in part on the Business Excellence Awards site without prior approval by the entrant.

    The only exception to this rule is that specific accomplishments that were integral to their selection as a finalist or winner may be revealed at the Awards Ceremony on April 9.

    The company I am nominating is small. What if much bigger companies submit in the same category?

    All entries are judged on their own merit, recognizing achievements and successes while considering the companies’ size, resources and competitive industry landscape. The judges don’t play favorites and honor the best work in the region, regardless of size and budget.

    What can I do to make my nomination stand out?

    Press stories, press releases, video clips, work samples and more can make a difference. If available, please include links in your submission (3-5 links is typical); these could be to your online news room, the best recent article, or a past award. In consideration for the judges’ time, please limit your hyperlinks to 10 links at most.

    When are the winners announced?

    Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held April 9, 2020.

    Do I have to attend to be named a winner?

    Winners, nominees, and the general public are encouraged to attend.

    What are the benefits of winning the Business Excellence Awards?

    Winning business awards has many benefits: it reinforces corporate direction; recognizes the talent and hard work of your entire departments and leading employees; makes it easier to attract new talent to the company; gains a sales advantage; and provides additional public relations opportunities and value.

    Additionally, the Business Excellence Awards winners receive the following benefits:

    1. Membership: All winners will receive free membership to the Summit Chamber for one year. 
    2. Recognition: The Awards Ceremony highlights all nominees, finalists and winners to the Summit County business community at large through print media, PR, inclusion on the website and recognition at the event.  
    3. Social Media and Advertising Badges: Winners will receive a 2019 Business Excellence Award logo with usage rights across all media outlets including the company website and printed materials.  This can be invaluable for positioning your company as an industry leader to new recruits and potential customers.
    4. Press: All finalists are featured in a Summit Daily advertisement for the event and winners are featured in a locally distributed press release.  Winners will be prominently shown in all recap video presentations and photo compilations of the event. Additionally, winners will be featured in any follow up media interviews regarding the event. 
    5. Website placement: All winners are featured on the Summit Chamber Website under the Business Excellence Awards section with a link to the business website.
    6. Plaque or Trophy: Winners receive complimentary customized award trophies. Finalists are given commemorative awards.
    7. Discounts and special offers from member organizations:   The Summit Chamber of Commerce works with member organizations and sponsors to offer prize packages that include products and/or services that will support the winner’s continued business growth.  Specific packages and opportunities change from year to year, so stay tuned to more information on what 2020 will hold!