SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced the finalists for its first-ever Small Business Spotlight Awards, an awards program established this year to honor and celebrate top entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country selling in Amazon’s stores. Amazon customers will select the Small Business of the Year, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, and Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year by voting now through November 8.
Since September 20, more than 1,300 U.S. small businesses have nominated themselves for the awards. Six finalists have been selected per category, based on their origin story and company vision; customer centricity; and product innovation, selection and value. The finalists are:
Small Business of the Year:
- Ayoba-Yo, a South African-style meat snacks company based in Fairfax, VA.
- Baking Steel Company, which produces pizza baking steels and griddles, based in Cohasset, MA.
- Damhorst Toys & Puzzles, maker of wooden toys, based in Hermann, MO.
- EcoBark Pet Supplies, a sustainable pet products company based in Largo, FL.
- nutpods, which makes non-dairy, unsweetened creamers, based in Bellevue, WA.
- Ravenox, a ropes and hardware company based in Mount Vernon, WA.
Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year:
- 1818 Farms, which produces bath and beauty products, based in Mooresville, AL.
- EazyHold, maker of grip cuffs for people with disabilities, based in Simi Valley, CA.
- Nerdbugs, which makes organ-shaped plush toys, based in Madison, WI.
- OBIA Naturals, a natural hair and skin care company based in Dallas, TX.
- Soul Insole, which makes foot rehabilitation products, based in San Diego, CA.
- Ultimation Industries, manufacturer of conveyor systems, based in Roseville, MI.
Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year:
- Bedtime Bulb, maker of sleep light bulbs, based in Philadelphia, PA.
- Habit Nest, which makes journals to build good habits, based in Los Angeles, CA.
- Joe Chocolate Co., which produces caffeine-infused chocolates, based in Seattle, WA.
- Player Ten Games, a party games company, based in Austin, TX.
- Renova Medical Wear, maker of clothing for postoperative patients, based in Weehawken, NJ.
- Watex Green Living, which makes urban garden products, based in Lake Forest, CA.
Winners from each category will receive a prize package including six months of dedicated Amazon account management, Sponsored Products advertising credits, promotion on Amazon.com, and a trip to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Winners will be announced later this year.
Amazon also announced today that Amazon Storefronts, its curated destination to shop exclusively from American small and medium-sized businesses, has surpassed 2.5 million products from nearly 30,000 companies across a variety of product categories, ranging from Home & Kitchen, Lawn & Gardening, Electronics, Beauty & Grooming, Pet Supplies, Handmade Artisan products, and more. In the last twelve months, U.S. small and medium-sized businesses with products in Storefronts have sold more than 250 million items to more than 70 million unique customers.
The company is hosting Small Business Spotlight markets today in Nashville at the historic Acme Feed & Seed venue and in Washington, D.C. at the popular District Wharf. The events will give dozens of small business selling partners the opportunity to interact in-person with thousands of visitors and to sell their products. The markets are free to the public, open 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. CDT in Nashville and 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. EDT in Washington D.C. Customers nationwide will be able to participate in the events by watching small business interviews and presentations on Amazon Live. Additionally, as part of the day’s focus on small businesses, the Amazon Treasure Truck will be in more than twenty cities today, featuring a special offer on a wine preservation system from Coravin, a Massachusetts-based small business found in Amazon Storefronts.
“Small businesses across America and around the world are both our partners and our customers,” said Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President of Small Business. “They are at the heart of our business and key to our success. That’s why we continue to invest billions in the infrastructure, tools and programs, such as Storefronts and these awards, to help them reach more customers and grow.”
Altogether, U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses sell on average more than 4,000 items per minute in Amazon’s stores. Overall, independent third-party sellers – primarily small and medium-sized businesses – made up 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon’s stores last year and their sales far exceeded $2 billion on Prime Day in July this year.
“Amazon has helped us reach customers all over the country and our business has grown tremendously, as a result,” said John Spalding, founder of Brittle Brothers, a gourmet brittle candy maker participating in the Spotlight market in Nashville. “With Amazon, we are a national brand, not just a local one, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to meet more customers in the real world.”
“As a very small business, we don’t have a lot of budget to manage and market our handmade soy candles,” said Usa Leckenby of Pure Palette, an Amazon Handmade business participating in the Spotlight market in Washington, D.C. “Amazon provides me with a national market opportunity on a very lean budget, and with Fulfillment by Amazon I can operate like a bigger company.”
Amazon has released more than 150 tools and services in 2019 to help its independent small and medium-sized businesses grow their sales online, which is part of the more than $15 billion the company is on track to invest this year in the success of selling partners. The company also hosts a variety of events to educate small and medium-sized business selling partners, including Amazon Academy events across Europe and Selling Partner Summits across the U.S.
To learn more about the millions of small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores, visit: https://www.aboutamazon.com/supporting-small-businesses.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.