Calling Austin Small Businesses – Tell Gusto How You Make An Impact

Gusto Editors

Hey Austin entrepreneurs! Small businesses like yours have a huge benefit to your communities—and we think it’s time you got some recognition. That’s why we’re kicking off a contest celebrating small businesses that make a big impact in their cities.  

The past few years have been extremely tough for business owners in the U.S. due to the pandemic, a tight labor market, and high inflation and interest rates. And yet, we saw a surge in entrepreneurship not seen in more than a decade. 

According to Gusto data, there were 5 million new businesses formed in 2022 – up 42% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In 2022, Austin, TX, was the 11th fastest-growing city in the U.S. for entrepreneurship. What’s more? 31% of new business owners in Austin were women. 

Gusto is celebrating Austin’s spirit of entrepreneurship by recognizing and rewarding the small businesses that power it.

What’s the contest about?

Small businesses push the economy and the world forward—and however small they may be, we know how big of an impact they make. The Gusto Impact Award is our way of recognizing and celebrating the amazing things small businesses do each and every day. Take a minute to share how yours makes a difference and you could win big.

One deserving small business in Austin will win the Gusto Impact Award. Share your story for a chance to win the award, which comes with a grand prize of:

  • $50,000 advertising package – Gusto will help design and place ads around your city (and online) that spotlights your business.
  • $10,000 in cash – A check in your name to grow your business.
  • Free Gusto payroll service for a year – Your next 12-month payroll subscription is on us!

“Impact” can be defined in many ways—from how you serve your customers, to who you hire, to how you volunteer. But no matter how you help out, we want to hear about it! 

In addition to the grand prizes, we’ll also be giving $500 Visa gift cards to 30 small businesses making a difference in each city.

Who can enter?

Small businesses located and operating in the greater metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Orlando, Florida; as defined by the specific Metro Areas/Zip Codes described in our official contest rules. 

Other criteria for eligible businesses: 

  • Cannot have more than 75 employees 
  • Annual gross revenue of less than $7 million in fiscal year 2023
  • Must have been an incorporated and active business for the previous year (2023). 
  • Additionally, the business must have an active website, valid email, and internet access

How are the winners selected?

All entries will be considered by a panel of sponsor-selected judges. The judges will weigh each submission based on the following: 

  • The mission of the business 
  • Strength of the business’ story 
  • Community impact
  • The impact of winning on the business and its employees

How to enter?

Head over to our contest page. Fill out our short form describing your business—company name, website, address, etc. You’ll also need to tell us (in 300 words or fewer) the overall mission of your business, the impact it makes on your local community, and how winning would help you and the people around you.

Entries will open on February 13, 2024 at 8am PT.

Entries will close on March 14, 2024 at 4pm PT.  

Important dates to remember

  • Contest kickoff: February 13, 2024
  • Submission deadline: March 14, 2024
  • Winners notified: Week of March 25, 2024
  • Celebration and grand prizes: April 2024

Get the word out

Know a business that fits our criteria, deserves some recognition, and could use cash, advertising, and free payroll? Share this contest with them!


Got questions? We have answers! Check out our FAQ section on the contest page for all the information you need.

Fine print

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. Contest open only to legal residents of the zip codes provided here (“Eligibility Area”) who as of date of entry are 18 or older and the sole or majority owner of a small business located within the Eligibility Area and with a specific limit of seventy five (75) or less full or part-time employees. Contest entry starts on/about 8:00 am PT on 2/13/24 and ends on/about 4:00 pm PT on 3/14/23. See Official Rules for complete details including how to enter, eligibility, winner determination and prizing. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Gusto, Inc., 525 20th Street San Francisco, CA 94107.

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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