King County Executive Dow Constantine today celebrated the “sweet” success of the Executive’s Small Business Awards by opening the nomination period for the 2012 countywide awards at the Queen Anne Hill location of last year’s winner, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.
“Our second-annual awards will be even bigger and better than last year, and we are happy to recognize hard-working small business owners across King County,” said Executive Constantine, who joined with his Small Business Award co-sponsors to don aprons and serve up ice cream scoops to store customers.
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream was the 2011 Small Business of the Year winner, and owner Molly Moon Neitzel today helped announce the start of the 2012 nomination period, along with KeyBank Business Banking Sales Leader Randy Riffle, and State and Local Government representative Dean Iacovelli from the Microsoft Corporation.
“I’m so excited to be hosting the launch of nominations for King County’s Small Business Awards,” said Neitzel. “I was honored to be the first King County Small Business of the Year, as were my employees who all work hard to play a positive role in the community, and we’re looking forward to seeing who will win the award this October. I hope my friends and peers take the opportunity to nominate a small business who deserves the recognition this year!”
Businesses are eligible for nomination if they operate within King County, have 50 or fewer employees, and have been in business for at least three years. Cities, chambers of commerce, and certain business organizations may nominate local firms that meet the criteria. The nomination form can be found online atwww.kingcounty.gov/smallbusinessawards.
“Small business is big business in King County with 26,000 small companies here,” said Workforce Development Council Chief Executive Officer Marléna Sessions. “They employ thousands more and, like Molly Moon’s, often grow into larger companies – proving once again the power of small business in expanding King County’s workforce.”
The Executive’s Small Business Awards are sponsored in partnership with KeyBank, Microsoft Corporation, enterpriseSeattle, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, and the Small Business Partners for Prosperity.
In its first year, a total of 125 firms were nominated. Three finalist firms were selected in each of seven categories, and winners were announced at a high-energy, breakfast-hour ceremony attended by nearly 250 people from local chambers of commerce, cities, and small business organizations. Businesses that were nominated last year but did not win are eligible for re-nomination this year.
“Earlier this month KeyBank was named SBA Large 7(a) Lender of the Year, a national honor recognizing our commitment to the growth and expansion of small business,” said Randy Riffle, Business Banking Sales Leader for KeyBank Seattle-Cascades District. “This local awards program is yet another way we can support and recognize the good work being done by small businesses throughout our area.”
The 2012 award ceremony will be held on October 10, 2012, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, with appearances from emcee John Curley and the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline.
“Microsoft is proud to sponsor the second-annual Small Business Awards and to honor this year’s winners who exemplify the success and determination of small businesses,” said Dean Iacovelli, Northwest Sales Director for Microsoft State and Local Government. “Microsoft is committed to the success and growth of locally-owned small- and medium-sized businesses. Our business and technology resources enable success for millions of small businesses in the U.S., helping them start, grow and thrive by leveraging today’s powerful and affordable technologies.”
“Small businesses are a vital component of our regional economy,” said Jeff Marcell, president and CEO of enterpriseSeattle. “The King County Executive’s Small Business Awards is a unique opportunity to recognize and highlight the contributions of these businesses to the region.”
Last year’s winners were selected by a panel of judges from local jurisdictions and business organizations. The winners and finalists were:
Small Business of the Year
WINNER: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream – Seattle
Finalist: Trophy Cupcakes and Party – Seattle
Finalist: Lightel Technologies, Inc. – Renton
Minority Small Business of the Year
WINNER: Triple XXX Rootbeer – Issaquah
Finalist: Chameleon Technologies, Inc. – Kirkland
Finalist: General Microsystems, Inc. – Bellevue
Woman Small Business of the Year
WINNER: PRR Inc. – Seattle
Finalist: JTS Manage Services – Seattle
Finalist: Ombrella Inc. – Kirkland
Exporting Small Business of the Year
WINNER: Paula’s Choice, Inc. – Renton
Finalist: Pascal International – Bellevue
Finalist: Trans-NET Inc. – Issaquah
Small Business of the Year
WINNER: General Biodiesel – Seattle
Finalist: Eco Cartridge Store – Kirkland
Finalist: WorldCNG – Kent
Small Business of the Year
WINNER: Seidelhuber Iron and Bronze Works – Seattle
Finalist: Lin & Associates, Inc. – Seattle
Finalist: Schemata Workshop, Inc. – Seattle
Rural Small Business of the Year
Winner: Rockridge Orchards & Cidery – Enumclaw
Finalist: Jubilee Biodynamic Farm Inc. – Carnation
Finalist: Olympic Nursery – Woodinville