Amazon Announces Small Business Awards, Opens Nominations
When it comes to brick and mortar retail and small business, Amazon is often seen as an enemy. Despite this, many entrepreneurs have actually been able to grow their businesses via Amazon, gaining a massive outlet for selling their goods. To celebrate this partnership, the site has announced the introduction of the Amazon Small Business Awards.
The inaugural awards will honor entrepreneurs in three categories: Small Business of the Year, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, and Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year. These winners will be awarded a prize package that includes free dedicated Amazon Seller account management for six months, credits for Amazon search ads, a trip to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, and more. In order for businesses to qualify, they must have an active Amazon Seller or Vendor account.
Nominations can be made at Amazon’s Small Business Awards page until 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, October 6th, with winners being announced later this year. According to Amazon each nomination will be evaluated on three main criteria: small business story, customer centricity, and product selection/value. In terms of story, the site will be looking for businesses with inspiring origins or visions. Amazon says they’re also looking for those owners who “demonstrate true customer obsession.” Finally, in the product selection and value section, those who offer unique and innovative items that meet a need will gain favor.
Announcing the intention of the awards, Amazon VP of Small Business Nicholas Denissen said in a statement, “We want to see small businesses across the country thriving like never before. We are committed to helping them harness the power of online sales, reach new customers, and provide fantastic selection, value, and convenience. The purpose of these awards is to showcase what the most successful small businesses are doing right as a model for others to learn from.” Meanwhile, speaking to Amazon’s impact on small businesses, IDC research director for small and medium businesses Shari Lava explained, “As retail and digital business evolves, small and medium-sized businesses embracing digital transformation are nearly twice as likely to see double digit revenue growth. Small and medium firms that successfully leverage strategic partners like Amazon are leading the way, reaching more customers, and growing their online sales.”
While Amazon is often painted as an adversary to small businesses, that’s hardly the case. In fact the site takes several opportunities to remind consumers and observers of their real relationship with smaller operations, highlighting them during their annual Prime Day and also publishing an impact report. These new Small Businesses Awards follow in that vein and seem like a positive development overall. Perhaps, with some success, these awards will expand in scope and reward in subsequent years.