DEADLINE MONDAY 7/22!

Apply before midnight to be part of the 2024 CO—100

The Premier Awards Program for Small Business

The CO—100 is an exclusive list of the 100 best and brightest small and mid-sized businesses in America. These are businesses to watch — driving innovation, growth, and ingenuity in their communities and around the world. Our awards program celebrates more than just your business’s bottom line; we care about your ideas, challenges, community, company culture, customers, and overall growth. Enter today to share your story and get recognized.

Presented By:
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Why Enter?

Ten businesses will receive $2,000 and America's Top Small Business of the Year will be awarded $25,000. All small businesses that make our list will receive:

  • Brand Exposure

    Your business could be featured across hundreds of print, radio, and broadcast news outlets. Plus, every CO—100 honoree receives a dedicated business profile on CO—.

  • Exclusive Access

    Gain access to top experts and thought leaders with valuable tips to help you grow your business. You’ll also meet and learn from the most successful small business owners in the nation.

  • VIP Perks

    Get invited to one-of-a-kind VIP experiences in the nation’s capital, and tap into opportunities for speaking engagements at our virtual and in-person events.

The CO— 100 will have an exclusive meet and greet with Dominique Dawes, the three-time Olympian and gold medalist, mom, and small business owner who will share her story of grit and perseverance and how those qualities pushed her to the top of her sport and, later, led to the launch of the successful Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academies.

Our Expert Panel

We’ve carefully selected a distinguished panel of business and media experts to judge the CO—100. Learn more about our judges here.

  • Jeanette Mulvey

    Vice President and Editor-in-Chief
    CO—
  • Caleb Silver

    Editor in Chief & S.V.P.
    Investopedia
  • Lillian Werbin

    CEO & Co-Owner
    Elderly Instruments
    America's Top Small Business Winner
  • Eric Schurenberg

    Founder
    Alliance for Trust in Media
    Former CEO
    Inc. and Fast Company
  • Ramon Ray

    Publisher
    ZoneofGenius.com
  • Bridget Weston

    CEO
    SCORE
  • Tom Sullivan

    Vice President, Small Business Policy
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Anthony Ha

    Technology Journalist; Weekend Editor
    TechCrunch
  • Carmen West

    Vice President, Equality of Opportunity Initiative
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Hadley Douglas

    Co-Founder and President
    The Drink Progressively Group
    America's Top Small Business Winner
  • J.D. LaRock

    President and CEO
    Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
  • Ingrid Jacques

    National Opinion Columnist
    USA TODAY
  • Shanique Streete

    Executive Director, Programs
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Karen Kerrigan

    President & CEO
    Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
  • Loren Feldman

    Founder and Editor-in-Chief
    21 Hats
  • Will Chen

    Founder & CEO
    P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle And You
    America's Top Small Business Finalist 2023
  • Barry Moltz

    Small Business Expert
    M&A Advisor
  • Rieva Lesonsky

    Owner
    Small Business Currents
  • Brian Moran

    Founder & CEO
    Small Business Edge, Brian Moran & Associates
    Co-Founder
    Bricks or Sticks
  • April Peterson

    Owner
    River Rock Outfitter
    America's Top Small Business Finalist 2023
  • Denise Berkhalter

    National Director of Communications
    Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
  • Joe Shamess

    Founding General Partner
    Flintlock Capital
    Chair
    U.S. Chamber Small Business Council
  • Heesun Lho

    Vice President of Programs
    Tory Burch Foundation
  • Chad Brooks

    Managing Editor
    Business.com and Business News Daily
  • Sara Armstrong

    Vice President and Managing Director, Federation Relations and Grassroots Advocacy
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Melinda Emerson

    President
    SmallBizLady Enterprises
  • Traci Tapani

    Owner
    Wyoming Machine
    Vice Chair
    U.S. Chamber Small Business Council
  • Bill Rossi

    President
    Rossi Enterprises
    Member
    U.S. Chamber Small Business Council
  • Paul Cheek

    Executive Director
    Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
    Senior Lecturer
    MIT
  • Brenda Nolby

    President
    Jam Hops
    America's Top Small Business Winner
  • Melissa Bercier

    Founder & President
    Couch Clarity
  • Rishi Popat

    Owner
    Popat Orthodontics & Madison Pediatric Dentistry
    Community Leader, Lecturer, Inventor
  • Felicia Sinusas

    Associate Director of Publicity
    Harvard Business Review Press
  • Desiree Browne

    Senior Manager, Digital Content and Education
    Tory Burch Foundation
  • Richard Green

    Executive Editor
    Lexington Herald-Leader

10 Categories Honoring the Best Small Businesses in America

Each applicant will have the opportunity to opt into up to five categories.

  • Growth Accelerators

    Awarded to the business that demonstrates the most creative and effective strategy for growth. This could involve unique marketing tactics, product innovation, or exceptional customer service strategies.

  • Community Champions

    This category honors businesses that have not only grown but have also positively impacted their local community. This could be through job creation, community service projects, or by fostering a strong community around their business.

  • Micro-Business Leaders

    This award recognizes small businesses with 1-5 employees that have built a profitable and thriving business while remaining small and nimble.

  • Champions of Adaptability

    Honoring businesses that have overcome significant challenges or adversity in the past. This category celebrates grit and determination.

  • Customer Champions

    This category focuses on businesses that have shown exceptional customer service or have significantly increased their customer base through unique engagement strategies.

  • Global Stars

    Awarded to a business that has successfully entered new international markets or significantly increased its global footprint over the past year.

  • Digital Innovators

    Recognizes businesses that have effectively incorporated new technologies or automated solutions to scale their operations, improve the customer experience, or innovate their product/service offerings.

  • Enduring Businesses

    For businesses that have shown long-term growth and sustainability over many years. Should be for companies in business for more than 10 years.

  • The Disruptors

    For businesses that have introduced or created a brand-new product or service or have built a company that innovates beyond traditional business structure or typical ways of doing business. The business itself or how the business is structured should be ground-breaking, new, or creative in nature.

  • Culture Champions

    For businesses that have built a vibrant and rewarding company culture and leveraged it to attract and retain employees who have together built a profitable and successful company through hard work, dedication, and commitment to the business’s goals and growth.

  • Apply Now
     

    10 Reasons to Apply for the CO— 100

    The CO— 100 is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s expanded small business awards program. Read on to find out more about the program and how to apply.

    Read more

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    CO— 100: Terms & Conditions, Awards, and Program Rules

    A complete guide to the terms and conditions, awards, and program rules surrounding the 2024 CO— 100.

    Read more

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    2024 Presented By:

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    Thank You to Our Sponsors:

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    Is My Company Eligible?

    1. Be a legal resident of the United States.
    2. Be a for-profit business operating for at least one (1) year prior to May 4, 2023, primarily within the United States.
    3. Have fewer than 250 employees or gross revenues of less than $20 million for both 2022 and 2023.
    4. Agree to all of the Award Rules, including potentially attending the award ceremony.

    Employees, officers and directors of Sponsors and any affiliated entities, and their respective immediate families (parents, spouse, children, siblings) or individuals residing in their household (whether or not related) are not eligible applicants.

    Click here to learn more about the terms and conditions and the full program rules.

    The annual list of CO— 100 includes thriving, successful companies that are committed to growing the American economy and supporting their local communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions —

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s CO— 100 recognizes and celebrates America’s Top Small Businesses. The annual list of CO— 100 includes thriving, successful companies that are committed to growing the American economy and supporting their local communities. The CO— 100 businesses embody the entrepreneurial spirit, growth mindset, and resilience that defines American enterprise system and drives innovation. Ten CO— 100 businesses will be recognized as the best in class for ten different categories of excellence. One winner will be named America’s Top Small Business.

    The application fee is $99.

    Please consult the Program Rules for details on a no-fee method to submit your application.

    The following will be awarded to each of the 100 CO— 100 Semi-Finalists:

    • One-year paid U.S. Chamber of Commerce membership (valued at $250).

    The following will be awarded to all ten (10) CO— 100 Finalists:

    • $2,000 cash.
    • One-year paid U.S. Chamber of Commerce membership (valued at $250).
    • Recognition and award presentation during the ceremony.
    • Will be featured in an article on CO—.

    The following will be awarded to the winner of the America’s Top Small Business of the Year recognition program:

    • $25,000 cash.
    • One-year paid U.S. Chamber of Commerce Membership (valued at $250).
    • Promotional video played during the award ceremony.
    • An article on CO— featuring the Award Winner.

    The Small Business of the Year Award Winner will be responsible for all federal, state and local taxes that may be applicable. We reserve the right to add additional in-kind or cash awards presented by sponsors at our Award Ceremony.

    For more detailed information about the CO— awards, click here.

    Eligible applicants may click the "Apply Now" button on this page to create an account on CO— and apply for the awards. Please be aware that once you submit your application, it will be considered final and no revisions are permitted.

    The CO—100 application allows you to holistically describe and showcase your business. There are three main parts of the application:

    1. Eligibility — Answer a few questions about your business to determine if you’re eligible to apply.
    2. Business and Financial Information — Share the basics about your business (name, location, etc.), as well as some straightforward questions about your 2022-2023 revenue.
    3. Categories and Scored Answers — We ask you to select from a predetermined list of 3 - 5 categories that best represent your business’s strengths. Based on your selection, you’ll answer some multiple choice questions, as well as write more detailed answers related to how and why your business excels in the categories you selected.

    Check out a sample application here.

    A panel of judges, including representatives from U.S. Chamber of Commerce staff, will choose a list of 100 semi-finalists to be included in the CO— 100. They will additionally choose from the 100 semi-finalists a total of 10 finalists and one America’s Top Small Business of the Year.

    A business must fill out an application in order to enter. Chambers of commerce and trade associations are encouraged to refer businesses to the program. However, the business itself must submit an application for the CO— 100 to be considered.

    Online applications must be submitted by July 22, 2024. (*Please note that the deadline has been extended from the original deadline of July 8.) Free applications sent via U.S. Mail must be postmarked no later than July 15, 2024 (also extended from July 1). These deadlines are subject to change.

    Yes! You should still apply. In your application, be sure to address the sales figures you reported and outline your business plan or strategies for growth in 2024 and beyond.

    A strong application will draw a clear and concise picture of how the business was started, what makes it unique, and how it has overcome challenges. Make sure your completed application clearly describes your business’s relationship with its community, customers, and employees. Submitting additional materials—such as your business plan—can strengthen your application and help us get to know your business, but they are not required.

    After creating an account and before submitting your final application, answers will be saved automatically so you can revisit or edit any previous responses.

    Please call Customer Service at (800) 638-6582 for your member number.

    Please email partnerships@uschamber.com for more information on sponsorship opportunities for the CO—100.

    Get recognized for being a great business!

    2023 Winners and Finalists

    Our 2023 small business awards highlighted seven finalists, including one grand prize winner, among a notable group of 70 honorees from across the United States. These businesses, all evaluated on characteristics such as business growth, ability to overcome challenges, innovative strategies for success, and community engagement, have distinguished themselves as trailblazers in the small business community.

    2023 Winner CO— Profile

    Elderly Instruments

    Elderly Instruments, the grand prize winner of our 2023 America’s Top Small Business awards contest, not only sells musical instruments but strives to make music more accessible.

    Read Their Story

    Outdoor image of Elderly Instruments' painted building with the sky in the background.

    2023 Finalists

    Our seven finalists of 2023 stood out among a robust group of applicants as small businesses that represent innovation, resilience, determination, and a commitment to creating jobs and supporting their communities.

    Read the Stories of the 2023 Finalists

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