Nominations sought for The City’s Neighborhood Business Awards 

There’s value in the businesses that make their bread and butter from the neighborhoods, rather than out of town thrill-seekers. And there’s even more value if the business helps out that neighborhood.

At least, that is the idea behind the S.F. Neighborhood Business Awards, which is accepting nominations for its 2006 season now through Aug. 25.

"It’s to celebrate and honor small businesses in San Francisco that don’t usually get recognized, particularly those small businesses and corner stores and unique boutiques," said Maureen Futtner, development manager for the nonprofit Urban Solutions. "It’s not about who makes the best burrito in town, or serves the best latte."

Instead, nominated businesses are graded on how many local employees they have, how many years they’ve been in business and how they partner with the community, she said. Examples of the latter include hanging neighborhood art on the walls or letting community groups use the business space.

Winners receive a certificate and "goodies," but that is not as important as the recognition, according to Cliff Waldeck. His business, Waldeck’s Office Supplies, was one of three winners out of 115 nominations in 2005. After winning the award, he received aid from a San Francisco State University marketing class to re-merchandise the store, and began contract talks with clients interested in his new business direction.

"The award really helped kick-start the momentum of my green business transformation," he said, "The award bolstered our credibility."

Urban Solutions partners with The Examiner and several businesses to grant the awards, which will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St., San Francisco. Written nominations of 200 or fewer words stating why a business deserves an award can be sent to Urban Solutions, Nominations; 1083 Mission St., 2nd Floor; San Francisco 94103. Applications can also be submitted at www.urbansolutionssf.org/nominate.

Honoring neighborhood businesses

What: S.F. Neighborhood Business Awards

Why: Appreciating local businesses

Event: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St., San Francisco

Organizers: Urban Solutions, The Examiner

Send nominations to: Written nominations of 200 or fewer words stating why a business deserves an award can be sent to Urban Solutions, Nominations; 1083 Mission St., 2nd Floor; San Francisco 94103. Applications can also be submitted at www.urbansolutionssf.org/nominate.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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