The Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce and the much anticipated Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) will partner to honor the winner of Woman Owned Business of the Year, a new category during Small Business Week. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and ARC Entertainment (hosts of BFF, along with Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC) will join the Small Business Week activities to profile area women owned businesses.
The Woman Owned Business of the Year award will be announced at the Chamber’s Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 6. The winner will also be recognized at the BFF award ceremony later that week. Small Business Person of the Year and Emerging Small Business of the Year winners will also be recognized. The keynote speaker for the luncheon is Mike Preston, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Preston will highlight the importance that our small businesses play in the economic development of our communities.
“We are very excited about bringing this partnership to the community,” said Dana Davis, President/CEO of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber. “This focus on our small businesses will certainly remind the community how important these entrepreneurs are to the strength and growth of our local economy.” The National Women’s Business Council reports women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in the small business community. In Bentonville 24.5% of businesses are women-owned, while 16.3% are women-owned in Bella Vista, according to 2007 U.S. Census data. Leveraging the focus BFF brings to empowering women creates a natural partnership with the Small Business Week and an opportunity for all area small businesses to be supported by visitors from all over the nation.
“Now is the time to help us single out the top entrepreneurs in your area. These are the ones who think big, take risks and work hard to achieve the American dream, strengthen the middle class and create good paying jobs. We want to spotlight their success.” said Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, SBA South Central Region Administrator.