SAGE Awards

The SAGE Awards, Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence, recognize the outstanding efforts, talent, creativity and innovation in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


2021 Applications Now Open. Apply Now Through February 5.

This year’s SAGE Awards have been enhanced in order to honor and recognize the resourcefulness and innovation our local businesses and organizations employed due to the challenges of COVID-19. In addition, we created the new IMPACT Award for 2021, which includes THREE categories: Community Outreach, People and Culture, and Products and Services. 

Applicants may not apply for an award received in the past – unless it is one of the following three awards  –  Best Practices in Marketing and Communications, Hometown Star, and Pride and Progress. Previous award winners are invited to submit in these categories again, as long as the project is a new endeavor and notably different from your prior award achievement.

A volunteer judging committee, comprised of a diverse group of community leaders, scores all applications that meet the eligibility criteria. Chamber staff does not participate in the process. Decisions are final. Results cannot be shared. All scores are tallied and the three highest applications advance to finalist status. The winners are announced at the annual Chamber Gala, which will be held virtually in March 2021.

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Award Categories

Best Practices in Community Involvement

Recognizes a business that demonstrates a commitment to serving its community through volunteering and philanthropy.

  • Community involvement must have taken place within the last year
  • Must be operational for at least one year (includes remote and online operations)


Best Practices in Customer Service

Recognizes a business who demonstrated exemplary care and compassion which has increased client satisfaction and retention.

  • Must be operational for at least one year (includes remote and online operations)

Best Practices in Marketing and Communications

Recognizes an in-house marketing department or advertising firm for creative excellence in ONE advertising campaign. The campaign must use THREE of the following media or methods: newspaper, consumer/trade publication, outdoor board, direct marketing mailer, brochures, stationery package, annual report, magazine/book publication, poster, special event material, mass transit/bus board, radio, television and digital marketing.

  • Previous award winners are invited to submit in this category again if the project is a new endeavor and is notably different from previous win
  • Must be fully operational for at least one year

Business of the Year

Recognizes a business, with more than 10 employees, for its accomplishments and operational successes.

  • Must be financially stable and operational for more than three years
  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Two part-time employees = one full time employee

Hometown Star

Recognizes an individual, business or organization that has made a significant impact on our area by conducting or adapting an in-person or virtual event (meals for needy families, raised money for downtown businesses, shopped daily and supported local businesses, raised money for the community, paid rent for downtown businesses) with a rich contribution in our area.

  • Previous award winners are invited to submit in this category again if the project is a new endeavor and is notably different from a previous win
  • Event must have taken place within the last year


New and Emerging Business of the Year

Recognizes an emerging business that has demonstrated a capacity for creativity and innovation, experienced growth and that has established itself as a leader in its industry.

  • Must be financially stable and operational for at least one year and no more than three years (includes remote and online operations)
  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Applicants for this award are not eligible to apply for Small Business of the Year
  • If applicant has previously won Small Business of the Year, they are not eligible to apply for this award

 Non-Profit Organization of the Year

Recognizes a non-profit organization that demonstrates excellence in society, stability, marketing and strategic alliances – all in the pursuit of its mission.

  • Must be financially stable and operational for a minimum of three years
  • Must be a 501(c)(3) organization benefitting Lackawanna County
  • Government entities, business entities, individuals and academic organizations are not eligible


People’s Choice

Celebrates the community’s favorite SAGE Award finalist through online voting. The finalist with the most votes received will be named People’s Choice.


IMPACT AwardNEW for 2021!

Recognizes a business or organization that has demonstrated creativity, adaption and perseverance during the tumultuous challenges of 2020. Applicants may qualify and apply for all three awards.

Community Outreach: Recognizes creative expansion, collaborations or adaptions within a business or organization for the purpose of addressing significant community needs

People and Culture: Recognizes a business or organization that has shown exemplary responses to the COVID-19 crisis – including the transition/adaption of safe work environments, restructuring of employees, compensation, childcare, flexibility and working remotely –  to ensure the well-being of their employees

Products and Services: Recognizes a business or organization for pivoting and transforming its core business model or creating new methods/services/products in order to continue operation, while also addressing customer and community needs


Small Business of the Year

Recognizes a business, with 10 or fewer employees, for its accomplishments and operational successes.

  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Must be operational for more than three years (includes remote and online operations)
  • Two part-time employees = one full time employee
  • Applicants for this award are not eligible to apply for New and Emerging Business of the Year