Air Date

October 15, 2020

Featured Guests

Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Judson Berkey
Head of Engagement and Regulatory Strategy, Chief Sustainability Officer, UBS

Penny Naas
President, International Public Affairs & Sustainability, UPS

Maura Donahue
President, DonahueFavret Contractors Holding Company


Chris Padilla
Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM


On October 15, The Chamber of Commerce partnered with Chase for Business to host its annual Dream Big Awards. This year’s virtual event honored the very best in American small business by celebrating their achievements and highlighting their contributions to the economy. Additionally, the winner of the Small Business of the Year award received a $25,000 cash prize.

Here are some highlights from the ceremony, including the small businesses that won big.

Small Businesses Power the Country’s Economic Engine

Despite this year’s challenges, over 700 small businesses across America submitted applications for the Dream Big Awards. From these applicants, three finalists were selected for each of the eight award categories, including Small Business of the Year.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clark joined the event to stress the importance of small businesses to America’s economic ecosystem, especially during these times.

“Small businesses are the vendors, the suppliers and the customer,” Clark said. “[They] provide jobs, support families, create consumers … It's small businesses across the country that are powering our economic engine.”

Small Businesses Win Big With Community Leadership and Business Achievement Awards

Before announcing the winner of the Small Business of the Year Award, Dream Big presented seven additional awards. These included the Community Support and Leadership Award, which came with a $5,000 cash prize. Additionally, they also presented business achievement awards for entrepreneurs under six different categories.

Below are the big winners of these esteemed awards:

Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory Receives Small Business of the Year Award

After announcing the business achievement and community support and leadership awards, it was time to announce the winner of the Small Business of the Year Award. Presenting this award was Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

“Embarking on your own in business is not for the faint of heart,” said John. “It requires resilience, a willingness to take risks and the courage to keep going, even during difficult times. 2020 has been the ultimate curve ball for businesses, which shows just how incredible the finalists for the small business of the year are.”

Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory of Ham Lake, Minnesota was ultimately declared the winner, receiving the prestigious award as well as a $25,000 cash prize. Jam Hops’ CEO, Brenda Nolby, described the award as an “amazing surprise” for her and her staff.

When asked to share some words of encouragement for her fellow business owners, Nolby said, “Take it one day at a time … and the future will take care of itself.” She stressed that even during difficult times, entrepreneurs must maintain the hope and the belief that “soon, you'll see the light, and you'll come out on the other side.”

The No. 1 Trait of a Successful Entrepreneur: Focus

At the start of the program, the Chamber of Commerce asked viewers to share one quality that makes for a successful entrepreneur. To close out the evening, emcee Steve Patterson presented the results of that survey.

The most prominent word — the one submitted by the most participants — was “focus.” Other featured words included integrity, honesty and resilience.

Paterson closed the evening with some words of hope for the viewers at home. “I know it feels a little cliche, but frankly, it's true: together, we will get through this,” he said. “We will rebuild. We will recover.”