We're giving away $50,000 to small businesses. Nominate yours today.

This post was written by Chelsea Dommert, EarlyShares, @EarlyShares.

America depends on small businesses. They already make up more than half of the United States’ workforce. They possess the power to create jobs and improve the economy. They restore America’s reputation as a bold, innovative, do-something country. These businesses depend on their friends and supporters to help them launch and grow. But they also need funding - more funding than supporters can provide on their own. So The Small Business Challenge lets anyone and everyone connect small businesses they support with funding that those businesses need. The contest will award $50,000 to three small businesses. It’s free to enter, and it only takes 10 minutes.

You can nominate a small business (yours or someone else's that you support) through October 31. Once a company gets nominated, it needs 100 votes from friends and supporters. Those 100 supporters guarantee the company a look from a judging panel of experienced investors. Every company that gets nominated will receive an e-mail with tips about how share the news with its entire network. Voting counts in this competition; each company needs those 100 people to vouch for it. You can find out more about the contest by visiting smbchallenge.com. You can also contact the Challenge Team with questions using the contact info provided on the website.

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Opinions and statements expressed by guest bloggers are theirs alone, not opinions of the Startup America Partnership.