Dane County Small Business AwardsSponsoring Organizations and Committee Members: Chase-Tyler Knowles, In Business Magazine-Jon Konarske, Madison Gas & Electric-Pam Christenson, Mid-West Family Broadcasting-Diego Campoverde, UW-Madison Small Business Development Center-Neil Lerner, Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp.- Diane Pasley; State of Wis. Supplier Diversity Council-Godwin Amegashie.

The Dane County Small Business Awards (DCSBA) is now in its 32nd year. The DCSBA celebrate small businesses and the contributions they make to our communities and economy. The 2014 awards breakfast will be held on June 13, 2014 at the Sheraton Madison Hotel.

10 Companies Recognized Annually

Each year in June, we recognize ten Dane County businesses that have excelled at meeting our award criteria. The award is given to the business, including all of the employees, not just the owners. We recognize the owner(s) have the vision and take the risk, but it is the teamwork of all the employees that makes a successful company.

Award winning companies are honored at a breakfast program attended by an average of more than 250 people. In addition to recognizing the companies for their achievements, the awards breakfast has a keynote speaker, panel discussion or other informative and entertaining program. During the awards presentation each winner will share a life or business success tip with the audience. Each winning company receives an award that they will proudly display for their employees and customers.

Dane County Small Business Awards Organizers

The DCSBA is a collaboration of organizations that are also program sponsors. The program sponsors have worked together to develop the award criteria, award application process, award selections and award breakfast program and ceremony. The DCSBA sponsors contribute staff time to organize the awards and money to offset the program costs. 

Sponsors of the Dane County Small Business Awards include:

Chase, Madison Gas & Electric Co., InBusiness Magazine, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, University of Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, and Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation, State of Wis. Supplier Diversity Council.

Award Criteria

  • A successful for-profit company that has been in business for at least three years or 1-3 years for the emerging business award*
  • A minimum of 3 full-time equivalent employees, including the owner
  • Maintain a responsible and rewarding workplace environment
  • Provide support (in-kind or financial) to their neighborhood or community
  • Awards considered in the following sales/revenue categories: Less than $1 million; $1-5 million; $5-10 million; $10-20 million
*An emerging business award will be considered for a 1-3 year old company. Applicants in this category do not need to meet the minimum employee requirements.

We strive to recognize a mix of excellent small businesses that:

  • Represent communities from throughout Dane County
  • Includes minority-owned and women-owned firms


Each year starting around February 15th, we solicit nominations from as many sources in the community as possible. This includes emails to small businesses and those that provide services to small businesses, business and civic associations, advertisements on radio and in InBusiness ezine.

  • Anyone can nominate a company
  • The nomination process is extremely easy and only takes about 1 minute
  • Anyone can nominate more than one company
  • A company only needs to be nominated once
  • Award winners ARE NOT chosen by how many nominations they receive

Self-nominations by employees and owners, nominations of minority and women-owned firms are encouraged.


Award Selection Process

  1. A contact person from each nominated company receives a brief award questionnaire
  2. The questionnaire is easy to fill out and focuses on gathering information specifically in regard to the measuring of the company against the award criteria
  3. Only companies that return the questionnaire are considered for an award
  4. An independent panel of judges reviews the award questionnaires received and decides on the award winners.