Computers, software and cash. Several hundred small businesses already are in the running for those prizes and more as a part of UPS's Best "Out-of-the-Box" Small Business Contest. And there's still time to enter at before the competition closes Sept. 15.

UPS is scouring the country for small businesses to identify the few that will stand as the best "out-of-the-box" enterprises of 2006. The 2005 winners included Designs By Lucinda of Portland, Maine, a business that creates handcrafted jewelry pins for non-profit causes; ColorLab Custom Cosmetics of Rockford, Ill., a custom-blend cosmetics firm, and INCHworm Shoes of Boston, a maker of children's shoes that "grow" as the kids grow.

"My business is expanding in whole new directions now," said Lucinda Yates, the 2005 first-place winner. "At Designs By Lucinda, we're offering new handcrafted keepsake boxes and have added customers as far away as Australia and Iceland. Winning the contest definitely helped us kick it up a notch."

The second- and third-place winners, likewise, found more success following their contest wins. ColorLab Custom Cosmetics' founder Mary Swaab expanded internationally, adding distribution in Paris and London, while INCHworm Shoes' President Hank Miller's newest designs were singled out for their originality during his appearance on NBC's "The Today Show."

"We work with small businesses every day to help them face the challenges of today's global economy and this contest is a way to recognize innovation," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing.

A recent City Business Journals Network survey of small- and mid-sized business owners found them ranking UPS as the No. 1 brand in America. The results were consistent across all industries including retail, business services, financial and insurance, travel, technology and telecommunications. The contest is just another way UPS is showing its commitment to the small business owner.

Entering the contest is simple. U.S. companies with annual 2005 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million can submit a 500-word essay explaining how they are original and "out-of-the-box." It's that easy. Entries must be submitted online by Sept. 15. and be completed by an employee or owner of an eligible business on behalf of that business, with a limit of one entry per business. A special Web site,, has been launched to receive entries and provide additional contest information.

The entries will be judged by a panel of eight renowned small business experts. Included among the judges are the publisher of The Atlanta Business Chronicle, the editorial director of Fortune Small Business and the George S. Craft Professor of Business of Emory University's Goizueta School of Business. The winners will be awarded their prizes in New York on Nov. 9.

UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at