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Becoming eco-friendly — that is, going green — could mean some green for your small business thanks to a new contest. The contest, sponsored by Green America, a not-for-profit membership organization advocating for a green and sustainable society, will give winning companies $5,000 each for their eco-friendly efforts.
The prize will be awarded quarterly to businesses with fewer than 50 employees that incorporate environmental and social considerations into their business. Each quarter, three nominated businesses will claim the $5,000 prize.
To win, businesses must be nominated through the Green America website. Nominations are being accepted until July 9. Once the nomination period concludes, a panel of 11 judges will narrow the results to 10 finalists. The public can then vote for their favorite companies beginning Aug. 2. The first group of three winners will be announced during the week of Sept. 17.
"We are pleased to be able to encourage and honor businesses who are working hard to benefit their communities, their workers and the environment," Alisa Gravitz, executive director of Green America, said. "Thanks to the generous donation of a longtime supporter, Green America will be able to award $15,000 each quarter to boost the green economy. In this tough economy, we know that $5,000 can go a long way to help sustain and grow an innovative green company."
The first round of the People and Planet awards will focus on green businesses with a community action component. Later awards will focus on topics such as clean energy, workplace innovations and other sustainability practices.