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It's National Small Business Week - Are You Ready?

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Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond/freestock.ca

It’s that time of year again – one of eager vitality, a celebration of humble beginnings and the chance to reflect on what’s already been accomplished while looking ahead at new possibilities. Is it the emergence of spring? Nope, it’s the spirit of National Small Business Week!

First established as a nationally recognized event in 1963 through the proclamation of President John F. Kennedy, and officially proclaimed by the sitting president every year since, National Small Business Week is an annual recognition of the positive impacts of the nation’s small businesses, whose critical economic and societal contributions are often otherwise overshadowed by bigger players in the highly visible corporate sphere.

The Small Business Administration (SBA), the federal agency responsible for producing the week-long celebration each year, does a great job shedding light on the nation’s best small businesses and entrepreneurs. The event also acts as a key driver for the growth and innovation of small business by bringing together some of the brightest minds in the business world to provide new and seasoned small business owners alike with seminars, workshops and other resources.

Right now, you might be thinking, “This is great! A well-deserved week for the backbone of the American economy! But what exactly is going on this week, and how do I take advantage of these resources you speak of?” Good question!

In-Person Workshops, Seminars, and Speeches

This entire week, the SBA is holding events in six major cities across the country. The week kicks off in Washington, D.C. with both a welcoming ceremony and an awards ceremony, and then continues to Atlanta, New York City, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose. Topics covered in the seminars and workshops range from cybersecurity for small businesses to business strategy and success for millennials.

Please visit the SBA’s events page for full details on the week’s schedule, as well as to register for any events you can attend (space is limited, so do it soon if you’re interested).

Can’t attend any of the events in person? Not to worry! For each event, there’s a live stream on the SBA’s National Small Business Week homepage, and you can even join the event conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz.

Webinars

In addition to the live events taking place, the SBA is also hosting informational webinars throughout the week for those who wish to attain the invaluable business advice that National Small Business Week has to offer, but from the convenience of any location. Topics include employee benefits, payment technologies and acquiring capital, and are hosted by a variety of highly accomplished industry leaders.

Full details on each webinar and registration instructions can be found of SBA’s webinar page. Registration is not limited for these, but be sure to register in time!

Ways You Can Take Action

Organize your own small business celebration in your local community or neighborhood. Involve neighboring businesses, your customers and even local leaders. Something as simple as a low-key get-together can be great for promoting your own business, encouraging residents to support the local economy by purchasing local, and networking with other small business leaders in your community for ideas and valuable relationships.

And even though National Small Business Week is focused on the appreciation of small businesses, you can use the opportunity to show appreciation for your customers. After all, small businesses may be the backbone of the economy, but without customers, that backbone has no support. Offer promotional discounts, hand out “Small Business Week” knick-knacks branded with your business, etc. The possibilities in taking advantage of this week are endless!

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