Lindsay Cates Lindsay Cates
Senior Manager, Communications and Strategy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


September 15, 2021


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dream Big Awards, presented by Spectrum Reach, celebrate the achievements of small businesses and honors their contributions to America’s economic growth.

The most anticipated award—whose winner earns a $25,000 cash prize—is Small Business of the Year. Each of the three finalists for Small Business of the Year exemplify the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and individual initiative. Read more about the businesses in the running below.

The winner will be announced at the Dream Big Awards Ceremony, part of The Big Week for Small Business virtual event, on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET. Learn more about the other Dream Big Award categories and finalists here.

Small Business of the Year Finalists:

GaN Corporation,Huntsville, AL

GaN Corporation

Founded in 2004, Geeks and Nerds (GaN) Corporation is a high-tech company on a mission to make a positive impact. GaN works with federal agencies, including NASA and the Department of Homeland Security, to solve challenging technological problems in cybersecurity and engineering.

From keeping workers safe from heavy industrial equipment, to keeping soldiers safe from hazardous testing, GaN invents and develops the solutions that ensure the nation’s most important work can get done.

“Each year, I become prouder to watch our small company making a huge difference in our community through technological advancement and community outreach. I am proud to have started a company of significance.” - John Kim, CEO, GaN Corporation

Sky Blue Builders, LLC, Denver, CO

Sky Blue Builders

Sky Blue Builders is a general contracting and construction management firm with a commitment to its community. Inspired by the American Dream to build the business, President Mowail Haile says each milestone reached is a true testament to the amazing people that are part of the business.

All employees volunteer their time and expertise throughout their employment to help support philanthropic efforts and create a strong community presence.

“We don’t just build professional teammates; we also help build them to be civic members of our community.” - Mowail Haile, President, Sky Blue Builders, LLC

The Urban Grape,Boston, MA

The Urban Grape

TJ and Hadley Douglas say The Urban Grape is more than just a wine store, it’s a place where people can learn, feel welcome, and explore their palates.

Founded in 2010, Urban Grape was built with the desire to build community, belonging, and equity in the wine industry. Customers get an experience that meets them where they are—and the wine store’s message of inclusion has led to a national reach and audience.

“Our proudest moment has been starting The Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color at Boston University. You can't be what you can't see, and our hope for this program is to create access for BIPOC to the wine industry.” - CEO TJ Douglas & CMO Hadley Douglas, The Urban Grape

Register for the Dream Big Awards Ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 5:00pm ET to find out who will be the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business of the Year and win $25,000!

About the authors

Lindsay Cates

Lindsay Cates

Lindsay is a senior manager on the communications and strategy team. She previously worked as a writer and editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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