Small Business of the Year

Small Business of the Year

Small Business of the Year Awards

As the premier pro-business organization that sets the conditions for both large and small businesses in our region to succeed, each year the Hampton Roads Chamber recognizes exceptional small businesses for embodying the spirit of enterprise. Small businesses account for approximately 85% of the Hampton Roads Chamber’s total membership and we do everything possible to support their success.


The Small Business of the Year Awards recognize the critical contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners in Hampton Roads. Small businesses are the backbone of our local and national economies, representing more than 95% of all employers and 63% of new jobs in the United States. Small businesses employ nearly half the entire American workforce and represent 43.5% of America’s GDP, which equates to trillions of dollars of economic activity.


The Hampton Roads Chamber and the Small Business Development Center are proud to provide special recognition to Hampton Road’s small business community by presenting a variety of awards each year as outlined below.


One business from each of the five Southside cities (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach), one Peninsula business, and one Western Hampton Roads business will be selected from applicants as 2024 Small Business of the Year for their locality. The local winners will be considered for the 2024 Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year award.



The Hampton Roads Chamber and the Small Business Development Center are proud to provide special recognition for the impact the military has on the Hampton Road’s economy by presenting an award to a veteran or military spouse owned small business. The winner of this category is also eligible be selected as the 2024 Small Business of the Year.



A winner will also be selected in the following categories:



Nonprofits play a fundamental role in creating thriving communities. They foster civic engagement and leadership, drive economic growth, and strengthen the fabric of Hampton Roads. The Non-profit award is presented to one nonprofit organization that has demonstrated excellence in management, leadership, community impact and partnership with the business community in Hamptons Roads.



The Hampton Roads Chamber and the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads are proud to recognize some of the best new small businesses in our region. These innovative, early stage businesses are on our Top to Watch list because they have been in business less than three years yet are already thriving and having an impact in our community.



The 2024 Small Business Champion Award is presented to an individual who has advocated for the growth and sustainability of small businesses and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads.



Small businesses are encouraged to apply directly for awards. In addition, associations, financial institutions, and other companies may nominate small businesses that meet the award’s requirements. A committee of experts completes judging after receiving all applications.




January 18, 2024: Application available, nomination period opens (Now Closed)
March 1, 2024: Application deadline, nomination period closed (Now Closed)
April 30, 2024 & May 1, 2024: Winners notified
June 21, 2024: Awards Ceremony Luncheon


During an awards ceremony luncheon on June 21, 2024 the Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year is announced from the finalists. The regional winner will be placed in consideration for America’s Top Small Business Award, presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and also receive a gift package from the Hampton Roads Chamber valued at $10,000.

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