Computers, software and cash. Several hundred small businesses already are in the running for those prizes and more as a part of UPS's Best "Out-of-the-Box" Small Business Contest. And there's still time to enter at www.ups.com/outofthebox before the competition closes Sept. 15.
UPS is scouring the country for small businesses to identify the few that will stand as the best "out-of-the-box" enterprises of 2006. The 2005 winners included Designs By Lucinda of Portland, Maine, a business that creates handcrafted jewelry pins for non-profit causes; ColorLab Custom Cosmetics of Rockford, Ill., a custom-blend cosmetics firm, and INCHworm Shoes of Boston, a maker of children's shoes that "grow" as the kids grow.
"My business is expanding in whole new directions now," said Lucinda Yates, the 2005 first-place winner. "At Designs By Lucinda, we're offering new handcrafted keepsake boxes and have added customers as far away as
The second- and third-place winners, likewise, found more success following their contest wins. ColorLab Custom Cosmetics' founder Mary Swaab expanded internationally, adding distribution in
"We work with small businesses every day to help them face the challenges of today's global economy and this contest is a way to recognize innovation," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing.
A recent City Business Journals Network survey of small- and mid-sized business owners found them ranking UPS as the No. 1 brand in
Entering the contest is simple.
The entries will be judged by a panel of eight renowned small business experts. Included among the judges are the publisher of The Atlanta Business Chronicle, the editorial director of Fortune Small Business and the George S. Craft Professor of Business of Emory University's Goizueta School of Business. The winners will be awarded their prizes in
UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in