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Nominations being sought for Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year

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Nominations being sought for Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ— The Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year Committee is happy to announce they are now accepting applications for the 2nd Annual Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year Award. October is National Women’s Small Business Month and local organizations have, once again, joined together to recognize the contributions of our local women involved in entrepreneurship and community involvement. The committee consists of members from the Eastern Arizona College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Freeport McMoRan, the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, the Woman’s Club of Safford, Bella Roo Beauty and the American Association of University Women.

One deserving businesswoman will receive $1,000 to put towards her small business. Trophies N’ Tees owner, Janet Quinn, who was the recipient of last year’s award, will be the featured speaker at this year’s ceremony.

Nominations are being accepted from the community to select a woman in Graham or Greenlee County who owns a business and is also active in her community. “The Gila Valley Small Business Woman of the Year Committee recognizes the many ways that ladies in our region step up to the challenges and inherited risks involved with starting their own business,” stated EAC business counselor, Charmaine Chidester. “Many of these women not only contribute to society through their business but also work in their community after business hours.”

Today, about 30 percent of small businesses are owned by a woman, compared to about five percent in 1970. Chidester continues, “This is the fastest growing segment in small business and we want to celebrate this achievement and foster continued growth. For the second year in a row FMI has generously contributed funds that enable us to award the winner $1,000! This is a perfect fit for their goal of furthering women’s development.”

Nomination forms can be completed on-line by visiting the EAC Small Business Development page at or the Graham County Chamber of Commerce website at Printed forms can also be picked up at the chamber. All nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on October 20. Three finalists will be recognized and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony at the Woman’s Club on October 29 at 10 a.m. Anyone with questions may call Chidester at 928 651-3673.