It's time, once again folks, to start thinking about those leaders and experts in the small business community who have guided you to success with your own company. Yes, it's the 4th annual Small Business Influencer Awards, and nominations are currently being accepted. If You're New to the Awards The Small Business Influencer Awards are a joint effort between Small Business Trends and Small Biz Technology. Each year, we honor people, tools, and companies that have positively impacted small businesses in North America. We divide our nominees into eight categories (and there are new ones this year). The six primary categories are: News Outlets (media companies) Corporations (providers of products and services to the small business market) Media (individual journalists, reporters, broadcasters, bloggers) Leaders (executives or other key employees that are part of corporations serving the small business market) Experts (mavens, authors, speakers, consultants) Apps (software, mobile apps, tablet apps) In addition, we've added two special categories: Small Business Marketing Campaign of the Year Small Business Growth Story of the Year The two special categories are interesting. We've decided to spice things up by honoring\u00a0consultants or vendors that have assisted small business clients with noteworthy marketing campaigns, as well as\u00a0consultants or vendors that have assisted small business clients with growing their businesses or increasing revenues or profits. We expect to hear some pretty amazing stories in these categories...maybe even yours! The Timeline Right now, you are invited to nominate as many Small Business Influencers as you'd like. Nominations are open until August 29, 2014. Then we move to the voting phase, where you get to vote for the nominees through September 15, 2014. You'll be able to submit one vote per nominee, and your efforts will help us identify the \u00a0top 5 most popular votes in each of the six main categories. After that, our esteemed panel of Judges will make its selection from the pool of nominees for the Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champions. Then we top off the Small Business Influencer Awards with a special ceremony in October 2014 in New York City! We hope to see you there. It's always a fabulous opportunity to mix and mingle not only with our Small Business Influencers, but also other key members of the small business community as well as well-known journalists and industry leaders. So Start Nominating Today! I encourage you to start thinking about who has influenced you in the past year. Perhaps a mentor? A business colleague? Client? Partner? Or maybe it's a business that's helped you take your company to the next level. There's no rule that says you can't nominate yourself, so if you think you've made a splash in the small business community, by all means, nominate yourself. The rules for the Small Business Influencer Awards are simple and fair: Nominees must be based in North America. Entrants must be involved in supporting, assisting, serving or enabling small businesses, through products, services, information and/or expertise used by those in the small business market. Sounds reasonable, right? So go nominate your favorite people and brands in the small business world now! Be sure to\u00a0follow @SMBInfluencer on Twitter, as well as the hashtag #SMBInfluencer to get the latest news on the awards.