The U.S. Small Business Administration is now accepting nominations for its 2013 National Small Business Week Awards. In addition, it just announced the launch of a new online portal to accept and track all of the nominations for each award category. Awards include National Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year, Women\u2019s Business Center of Excellence Award, Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award, and more. Winners for each award are chosen based on different sets of criteria. For example, nominees for the Phoenix Award for Disaster Recovery must own small businesses that suffered physical damage due to a disaster during the previous year, and they must have received an SBA disaster loan. Then those businesses nominated are evaluated based on a number of related factors, including extent of the damage, resiliency, and speed of recovery. The National Small Business Person of the Year award is perhaps the most highly anticipated and coveted award in the community. Winners are selected from those who were named State Small Business Persons of the Year. A panel of judges selects the winners in each district and then each state. State winners will be announced on April 1, 2013. Winners of the awards will be invited to Washington D.C. to attend the 2013 Small Business Week events and compete for national titles in their respective categories. The online portal is now accepting and tracking nominations in all categories. In addition, nominations can be sent to SBA District Offices. All nominations need to be submitted or postmarked by January 3, 2013 in order to be counted. Nominations can be made by any person or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the U.S. These can include professional trade organizations or associations. Upon submitting a nomination, users are asked to either sign in or create an account on the National Small Business Week site. Small Business Week began in 1963 as a way to recognize the achievements and contributions of America\u2019s small business community. The events also offer networking and educational resources and opportunities for small business owners and professionals. The 2013 Small Business Week will be the 50th\u00a0anniversary of National Small Business Week, and will take place June 17 - 21, 2013. Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect the new date of National Small Business Week set by the SBA following publication of this article. National Small Business Week is now June 17 -21, 2013.