Story by Mary Olivas
Arizona Public Media

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With the current economy, it is difficult to own a small business and make it thrive.

Each year, the Pima County Small Business Commissions recognizes this accomplishment with an award.

Currently, they are in need of nominations.

Edie Lake, commission member and 2011 recipient of the award encourages people to make a nomination.

She said business owners are also eligible to nominate themselves.

“It’s just really an accomplishment to be a small business and to be successful in this hostile (economy),” Lake said.

This will be the award's fourth year. And, this year, two divisions have been created.

One business will be eligible to win the award for Best Small Business in Tucson City Limits, while the other award will go to a business outside of city limits but that reside in Pima County.

Lake said this year’s award also includes a $500 cash prize.

“This is how they survive and so we’re trying to recognize them for all they are,” Lake said.

Nominations are open until July 15. Applications can be found online.

Winners will be announced in late August.

Mary Olivas is a journalism student and an intern for Arizona Public Media.