Nominations are being sought for the second annual Western Arkansas Business of the Year award. The program seeks to highlight efforts of businesses, non-profits and startup operations and consider their future impact on the Fort Smith region.
The program, sponsored in part by Oklahoma City-based OG&E, will take nominations and make selections in the following four categories.
• Business of the Year: This category will recognize businesses with 300 or more employees.
• Small Business of the Year: This category will recognize businesses with less than 300 employees.
• The Startup: This category will recognize a business founded in the Fort Smith metro within the past three years.
• Non-profit of the Year: This category will recognize a non-profit agency, with preference given to those unique to the area.
Category winners in the inaugural class were:
• Business of the Year: Fort Smith-based ArcBest;
• Small Business of the Year: First National Bank of Fort Smith;
• The Startup: Fort Smith Brewing Company; and
• Nonprofit of the Year: Arkansas Colleges of Health Education.
Unlike some area recognition programs, nominees and those chosen to receive category awards will not be solicited for advertising, nor will the selection process include a social media push for votes. Factors for selection in the Talk Business & Politics Western Arkansas Business of the Year award program will include the success of the business, philanthropic efforts, leadership in the business community, and activities outside the region that reflect well on the region.
“As we noted with last year’s successful program launch, the key with this program is to recognize businesses and non-profits who are without question having a positive impact on the region and on the region’s future,” said Talk Business & Politics President and Executive Editor Michael Tilley. “We are proud to have our well-known media platform to shine a light on those who are making things happen.”
Category winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony later this year. Nominations can be made at this web page at Talk Business & Politics. The nomination window opens Sept. 24 and closes Oct. 23.