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The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline for nominations for the successful entrepreneur who might become Maryland’s Small Business Person of the Year to Jan. 31.

The winner will compete for the national title during National Small Business Week.

Nominees also are being sought for several local champion and special award categories. Small Business Person of the Year nominees compete locally, and the winner advances to the national competition.

Nominees are judged on criteria including staying power, in employment and sales growth, innovation of product or service, and evidence of contributions to the community.

Small Business Champion awards are presented by Maryland Small Business Week Awards Program to people who have used their professional or personal talents to further public understanding and awareness of small business.

Candidates must have taken an active role in creating opportunities to promote the interests of small business. Champion award categories include financial services, home-based business, minority, veterans and women. Special award categories include the Jeffrey Butland family-owned small business award, entrepreneurial success, small business exporter, young entrepreneur, accountant champion, insurance champion and legal champion awards.

Nominations can be made by an individual or an organization.

The Maryland program accepts nominations for individuals or businesses operating within Baltimore and all Maryland counties except Prince George’s and Montgomery.

Go to www.sba.gov/md or contact Rachel Howard at 410-962-6195, ext. 330, or rachel.howard@sba.gov.