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Awards luncheon honors small businesses, owners

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On May 27, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration and ESET to celebrate the accomplishments of small and micro businesses at the 2009 Small Business Awards Luncheon & Business Exchange.

Award winners will be announced live at the luncheon.

"We received a record number of award applications," said chamber President and CEO Ruben Barrales. "This is great news because our winners tend to have a bright future. Our title sponsor, ESET, was recognized as our 2005 Emerging Business of the Year, and last month they won a coveted CNET Editors' Choice award."

The awards luncheon will take place at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle N., from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Prior to the luncheon, companies can register to meet up to 100 prospects in an exciting, fast paced, speed networking event called the Business Exchange. All paid participants in the Business Exchange receive two free tickets to the luncheon, valued at $150.

"The Business Exchange is my favorite chamber event because we help small and micro businesses make more connections in two hours than they would normally make in months," said Doug Holman, chamber vice president of membership. "These are businesses that don't typically have a major marketing budget, which makes this surefire visibility important, particularly in a slower economy."

Both the chamber and the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration will present awards for outstanding achievement. SBA awards are outlined separately throughout this supplement.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will present awards for the following categories:

Outstanding Emerging Business of the Year

Criteria:

¥ History as an established business confirmed by revenue growth and profitability or demonstrated staying power through adversity.

¥ Must be a San Diego County-based business.

Most Innovative Marketing Campaign/Concept

Criteria:

¥ Creative concept, including relevance to the target audience.

¥ Execution of solutions to marketing and communications challenges.

Excellence in Customer Service

Criteria:

¥ Educated sales and services representatives who are approachable, available and willing to help.

¥ High-quality service from beginning to end; the amount and quality of assistance given to customers.

¥ Responsiveness and follow-through once a problem has been identified; dealing with situations of adversity from customers.

Most Innovative Product or Service

Criteria:

¥ Innovation in technology, invention, product or service.

¥ Considered creative and found its success in the marketplace.

¥ Acknowledgement by peers or media for innovation.

Environmental Action Criteria:

¥ Eligible candidates will have taken actions to improve or protect the environment. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: recycling programs/initiatives, fuel conservation or alternatives, energy conservation practices, environmentally friendly products, environmental awareness/education, water conservation measures, solar/wind power, etc.

¥ Effort and actions result in a significant and measurable environmental benefit.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Title sponsor: ESET

Award Sponsors: AT&T, Barney & Barney, and Blue of California

Corporate Sponsors: Union Bank of California, Town and Country Resort & Convention Center

Business Exchange Presenting Sponsor: Chevron

Media Sponsor: The Daily Transcript

Communications Sponsor: Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Inc.

For more information, visit the chamber Web site at www.sdchamber.org.

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