How are qualifying areas determined?
Qualifying areas are determined based on three measures: poverty, unemployment and self-employment—key indicators of the degree of economic hardship facing any community. To determine eligibility, we first looked at these three indicators for all localities in the Commonwealth. Any city or county that was below the average in two of the three categories qualified.
Recognizing that there are challenging contexts within otherwise more prosperous communities, we next screened all ZIP codes in the Commonwealth. Using data from the U.S. Census, any ZIP code that was below the average in two of the three categories qualified.
If a community does not qualify, it is because it is doing better than average based on these measures or because reporting data was unavailable in the area.
What data is used to determine who qualifies?
To screen by locality, we used the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007-2011 American Community Survey estimates and the 2000 Census to screen by locality and ZIP code. We also used the Distressed Communities Data Report available from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
What benefits do finalists and award winners receive?
To help grow and advance their businesses, winners will receive a full scholarship to attend a Darden Executive Education program. Winners and finalists also benefit from the marketing opportunities and attention that will be generated by the awards. We will highlight the work of all of our finalists and winners at the awards ceremony and in media outlets following the event. We will promote the finalists and winners around the state as examples of successful and innovative firms, and we expect that this attention will lead to new opportunities.
My business has grown over the past five years but with some periods of decline. Am I still eligible?
Yes. Although the Resilience Awards seeks to highlight businesses that have been growing and employing people, we are aware that there may be dips in that growth path. Your ability to be innovative in growing your business in the face of economic challenges will be a major criterion in award selection.
Do nonprofits qualify?
No. Although we know that many nonprofit organizations are engaged in meaningful work to promote economic growth in their communities, the program is intended to highlight the entrepreneurial work of for-profit businesses operating in challenging economic conditions.
Who will see my application materials?
All information submitted in the application is confidential. Only the judging panel and staff will have access to your information, and all have signed a non-disclosure agreement. We will not release your information to any third parties or those not involved in the Resilience Awards program.
What happens if I’m selected as a finalist?
Finalists will be asked to submit relevant tax forms dating back to 2008 and any professional audits. Audits are required when a business pursues financing, and we hope that our finalists and award winners will be able to pursue lending opportunities to continue building their business. If you don't have audits but still meet the other requirements, we still want to see you in the applicant pool.