Award Description and Eligibility

To submit a nomination for 2019, Click Here.

Each year, at the Lancaster Chamber's Annual Dinner, a local business member is honored as the Small Business Person of the Year.  This award is made in recognition of the outstanding contributions of small business to the economy and overall progress of the Lancaster trade area.

To be eligible for nomination, the candidate and his or her business must meet the following criteria.

  • Has completed 7 years of operations as a for-profit business. 
  • Employs less than 100 employees (including all entities or subsidiaries) according to the Lancaster Chamber records at time of nomination. 
  • Nominated person is the CEO, President or top leader and actively involved in day-to-day leadership of the business. 
  • Conducts business in an ethical manner beyond reproach.

Selection Criteria and Definition

  1. Business Growth – Verified indications of growth and the effective management of growth.  Growth indicators can be in sales; profit; workforce retention; facility size; number of locations; customers – repeat business; products/service lines, etc.
  2. Business Formation/Reformation/Entrepreneurship – The degree and extent responsible for formation/reformation of the business concept and of the business itself as well as how you managed the business utilizing creativity and imagination.
  3. Strategic Thinking and Leadership Skills – Evidence of applied strategic thinking and leadership characteristics and behavior (i.e. vision, focus and direction, a plan/goals, development of personnel, development of leadership in self and others, market leadership).
  4. Stay Power and Problem Solving – Evidence of long term focus including sustainability, succession planning, and long-term performance; able to handle challenges, competition, overcome adversity and manage risk effectively.
  5. Business Culture – Evidence of stated and applied commitment to ethical practices, business philosophy and core values and HR practices including development and retention of employees.
  6. Community Involvement – Evidence of contribution and involvement in the community, investment of financial and other resources such as time, talent, materials/facilities/equipment, involvement of self and others in the organization.
  7. Chamber Involvement – Evidence of contribution of time and talent to the Chamber.  Support of chamber functions through involvement, leadership and sponsorship activities.  Influencing others, in your organization, to become actively involved in the Chamber. 

Rating Guidelines

For each criteria, all nominees are rated on a scale of 1 to 6 (1-2 being low, 3-4 being mid point, 5-6 being high).

1. Business Growth (20% total score)

Sales - 10% or under
Profitability & staff retention < industry standard

Mid Point
Sales - 11-30%
Profitability & staff retention = industry standard

Sales - Over 30%
Profitability & staff retention > industry standard

2. Business Formation (10% total score)

Given the business or passed unto.

Mid Point
Bought existing business, a franchise or founded.

Founded the concept and the business.

3. Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skill (20% total score)

Evidence of skills by candidate.

Mid Point
By candidate and some others in the organization.

By candidate and integrated organization wide.

4. Stay Power and Problem Solving (20% total score)

In business 3-5 years, minimum competition, challenge, adversity or risk.

Mid Point
5-15 years, moderate competition, challenge, adversity or risk.

Over 15 years, overcoming significant competition, challenge, adversity or risk.

5. Community Service (10% total score)

Contribute $.

Mid Point
Contribute $ and personal time/talent. On committee for local charity or community service project.

Contribute $ and personal time/talent. Draws others into community service activities. Has volunteer leadership position (board level) in community service organization.

6. Chamber Service (10% total score)

Attends and encourages others to attend Chamber functions.

Mid Point
Demonstrated volunteer service to The Chamber. On Chamber committee. Regularly attends Chamber functions. If business leader, supports ($ and time) staff involvement at functions.

Board level position or Chamber Ambassador. Leadership abilities with programs noted. Regularly attends Chamber functions. If business leader, supports staff involvement in volunteer positions.

7. Business Philosophy, Ethics and Quality (10% total score)

Able to state a business philosophy, ethics, quality position or commitment.

Mid Point
Evidence of self-practice and leadership by doing as business conduct.

Integrated as process and practice of others in business conduct.

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