Nomination FAQs

Nomination Process

Q. How is a business nominated for this award?

A. A nomination may be initiated by anyone so long as they have received explicit permission from the business to do so. A business may even nominate itself for the award. For detailed instructions on submitting a nomination, click here. 

Q. What is your process for reviewing nomination forms? 

A. You should receive an email confirmation when your nomination is successfully submitted.

Your nomination will undergo two levels of review—first, a THC staff member in the Community Heritage Division will verify that you’ve provided documentation which sufficiently proves the business’ eligibility. Then, your nomination is entered into our digital record and passed along to the Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission for final review. Once reviewed, you will receive an email either confirming that the nomination has been approved or requesting additional documentation or clarification. If said documentation is provided within one week of contact, the nomination will continue to be processed in that quarter. If documentation is provided after that, then we will hold the nomination and process it during the following quarter.

Award certificates are printed for approved nominations and circulated, along with the story of your business, to the business’ state senator and representative, the THC chair and the THC executive director for official signatures. This process can take time as a single document is being mailed between several different offices. We ask for your patience as your certificate is in transit.

Once your certificate has received all its official signatures, it will be mailed along with a window decal to the nomination contact’s address unless otherwise noted. We will send email notification when your certificate and decal have been mailed.

Q. How long will it take the THC to process our nomination?

A. The estimated time between submission and receipt of award is approximately 2-3 months.

Q. What kind of information does the nomination form ask for?

A. You can preview the online nomination form by clicking here and scrolling through the question screens or using the up/down arrows located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen (you do not have to submit answers to scroll through the application). You can also refer to the PDF version of the form, which asks the same questions as the online form.

  • Nominator’s name and contact (if different from owner)
  • Business owner’s name and contact
  • Business location information (street address, town, county, heritage trail region, etc.)
  • Business age and documentation that verifies eligibility (via file upload)
  • Intent to apply for additional recognitions: family-owned designation or historic building designation
  • Business Narrative: several open-ended questions are meant to help you reflect on the history of your business. The answers to these questions will not be used to evaluate your nomination. Instead, they are meant to serve as an official historical record of your business, so the information you provide will determine how much of your story is preserved for generations of Texans to come. We also plan to share parts of your story on social media, so participation increases your likelihood of promotion. Some of the questions are previewed below:
    • Tell us about your business. What services or goods does it provide? Who are your customers? What differentiates your business from others like it?
    • How has the industry changed since your business first opened?
    • Describe your community. What makes your town different from other towns in Texas? How is your business a reflection of your community?

Award Qualifications

Q. Do nonprofit organizations qualify for this award?

A. Nonprofit organizations contribute greatly to the quality of life in Texas, and we respect their efforts. However, this award is limited to for-profit companies and businesses.

Q. How many years must a business continually operate to receive this award?

A. The award is given to businesses that have been in continuous for-profit operation in the State of Texas for at least 50 years.

Q. What constitutes “continuous operation”?

A. Any business that has continued in operation without substantial interruption will qualify for the award. For example, if a business was closed while the owner was serving in the military but it was reopened at the conclusion of that service, it will be considered continuous operation. But if the owner goes into a different line of work, or moves their entire business outside of Texas and then returns and reopens the original company, that will not be considered continuous operation. Any other interruptions in business are subject to review. If you're not sure if your business qualifies, please reach out to us directly and we can help you determine if it's eligible! 

Q. What if ownership has changed over time?

A. Businesses that change ownership and location may still qualify for the award as long as the business has been continually operated and owned as an independent business in Texas.

Q. Our headquarters is located outside of Texas, but we’ve been doing business in Texas for more than 50 years. Do we qualify for this award?

A. We understand that longtime Texas businesses are sometimes purchased by entities based outside of Texas. If that's the case with your business, you may still qualify for this award, but please contact our office first to determine your eligiblity as it will depend on a number of factors. 

Q. What do you mean by “continuously owned by the same family?"

A. Ownership may pass through cousins or in-laws and still qualify for this recognition. Relationship by blood, marriage, or adoption are all acceptable.

Q. What “architectural integrity” must be maintained to qualify for the historic building category of the award? 

A. If a building still looks much like it did when it was new, it maintains its architectural integrity. If it has been changed so that it no longer looks the way it did (for example, if brick is covered with stucco, windows are replaced or entrances are moved) then it probably doesn’t have its architectural integrity. The THC staff will make this determination using photographs provided by you with your nomination.

Award Winners

Q. How are businesses notified of award designation?

A. When an award has been approved, the THC will notify the nominator by email. A follow-up email will be sent when your certificate has been signed and mailed. 

Q. How and when is the award presented?

A. The THC will send an award packet to you by mail that contains your award certificate (one per business) and a decal for your business door or window. 

Many businesses choose to celebrate the award with an official ceremony or presentation. Usually, the person who initially nominated the business will take responsibility for organizing the local event. Unfortunately, the THC cannot assist in event planning, but a representative of the THC is always happy to attend and/or speak briefly if scheduling allows. For more information about what to do after you've received your award, click here. 

Q. Our headquarters is located in north Texas, but our primary place of business is in south Texas. Where should we hold our award ceremony?

A. Any award ceremony your community organizes should be held in the town or city where your headquarters is located, but another location can be considered.

Q. We have several branches in senate and house districts all over Texas. Which of our state senators and representatives will be notified if we win this award? 

A. The THC will notify the senator and representative whose districts are identified on your nomination form as being in the area where your primary place of business is located. We would urge you to let other public officials know about the award.

Q. We have multiple locations around Texas. Can we receive more than one certificate?

A. Unfortunately, at this time we can only provide one certificate per business. If, however, you need multiple decals, we are happy to supply those upon request. 

Q. Will the THC put out press releases about our business winning this award?

A. The THC does not send out press releases on individual awards. A template press release and media advisory will be provided via email so you can let your community know about your achievement. We also encourage you to connect with THC partners in your community at the beginning of the nomination process so that they know to expect word of the award. If you're not sure who in your community to contact for promotional support, please contact us directly and we can point you in the right direction and/or provide direct contact information. 

Whenever possible and with timely notification the THC will publicize your event on our website Calendar of Events and through our social media outlets. Please use the Presentation Event Notification form found on the THC website to let us know about your event.

Q. What happens if the business is sold or moves to a new location after receiving special awards for being in the same family or preserving the architectural integrity of the previous business building?

A. The business deserved that recognition at the time it was presented, and can continue to display the award.


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