Celebrating National Small Business Week
This week — May 1st through the 7th — is officially National Small Business Week. Since 1963 the first week in May has been designated to celebrate the importance of small businesses in the U.S. as well as highlight the achievements of entrepreneurs across the nation. This includes the Small Business Association (SBA) awarding their annual National Small Business Person of the Year. The theme of this year’s festivities is “Dream Big, Start Small.”
While addressing this year’s Small Business Week President Obama pointed out that two-thirds of all the new jobs created in the United States come from small businesses. On top of that more than half of all Americans are employed by such businesses. “Our Nation’s small businesses play a critical role in generating economic prosperity and the effort poured into them by ordinary citizens across our country reflects the hard work and determination inherent to who we are as a people. This week we renew our support for these engines of growth and recognize their incredible contributions to our country,” the President said.
In an interview with USA Today SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet noted that there are currently more than 28 million small business in the United States and that these shops not only support the national economy but, more importantly, local ones. “When you shop at a small business, 64 cents of that dollar stays right in your neighborhood,” she said. She went on to add that small businesses “should be respected” for the important role they play. For example she mentions that when large corporations come to town they are often given special treatment such as tax breaks. Meanwhile, “When a small business shows up in City Hall, (they’re told) ‘Stand in line, take a ticket.'”
As part of National Small Business Week the SBA will be hosting special events in New York, Denver, Phoenix, Oakland and San Jose. Additionally Small Biz Trends has compiled a list of some of the other notable events happening throughout the country. AdAge also reports that the UPS Store is actually celebrating small businesses all month with events in Minneapolis (May 4), Nashville (May 12), Houston (May 18) and Phoenix (May 24) featuring entrepreneurs like Marcus Lemonis — star of CNBC’s reality show The Profit. The company is also holding contests at each event that will give small business owners the chance to pitch their idea to expand their business for a chance to win $5,000.
Two other big companies are looking to help small businesses as Google and Facebook. Google is partnering with various organizations to provide free seminars on how to grow your business’ online reach through Google Search and Google Maps. Similarly Facebook will be offering workshops in four Texas cities this week (Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, and College Station) that will give entrepreneurs a crash course in best practices for Facebook and Instagram. Not to be left out Twitter will be hosting a small business-themed Tweet Hour with IFTTT marketing manager Simon Walker this week. Starting on Thursday, May 5th at 10 a.m. PDT business owners can ask questions and share advice by using the hashtag #TweetHour.
There’s no denying that small businesses are an important part of our country. Not only do they contribute greatly to our economy but they also exemplify the American dream. If you’re an entrepreneur this week is a great opportunity to get new ideas for how to grow your business, give and share advice with others, and get connected with other business owners in your community.