PaySimple champions small businesses because we know that small business owners are super heroes who deserve accolades all year long. This week (April 30 – May-6, 2017) is National Small Business Week, a time when everyone is prompted to think about the contributions small businesses make to their communities. (And just to make it official, President Trump proclaimed it so.) It is also an opportunity for small business owners to come together to celebrate their accomplishments, and to share the secrets of their successes with each other.
The annual event started in 1963 and has been going strong ever since. The week is intended to recognize the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners who are responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs in the country each year. (Did you know that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business?) It includes conference “road tour” events three cities, a series of webinars, and a large number of related events in cities across the country (check your local SBA office for details; or this list which includes a few local highlights).
The week’s highlight is the NSBW Awards Luncheon in Washington, DC which took place yesterday afternoon. During this event small business owners across the country are honored, as are the organizations serving these small businesses including regional SBA offices and Small Business Development Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, SCORE, and Women’s Business Centers.
A number of awards are presented during the conference including Phoenix Awards for disaster recovery, the Small Business Investment Company of the Year , the Jody C. Raskind Microlender of the Year, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence for Services, the 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year, the National Exporter of the Year, the Prime Contractor of the Year, the Subcontractor of the Year, the SCORE Chapter of the Year, the Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award , the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year, and the Small Business Development Center of the Year. Additionally each State SBA office crowns a Small Business Person of the Year. You can read all about the winners and their stories in the National Small Business Week book, and you just might find some inspiration for your small business.
And speaking of inspiration, the key conference event is the crowning of the National Small Business Person of the year, SBA’s highest honor. The winner is selected from the State award winners. This year’s award goes to a duo:Garrett and Melanie Marrero of Maui Brewing Company. The couple used SBA financing in 2005 to start their company as a small brewpub restaurant in Kahana, and grew it into the largest craft beer producer in Hawaii, which will employ over 700 people by the end of 2018.
With that event over, Small Business Week rolls on. Upcoming Road Tour cities this year are Indianapolis, IN (May 3, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm ET), Arlington, TX (May 4, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm CT), and Fresno, CA (May 5, 9:00 am- 10:30 am PT). You can still register to attend the Fresno event in person, but the others are now closed. However, you can watch each of these events live on the National Small Business Week Home Page or on the SBA’s Facebook page.
Additionally, there are a number of webinars and online events you can join to learn about a variety of small business topics and to connect with fellow small business owners around the country.
- Facebook Live with SBA Administrator Linda McMahon
(May 2, 10:30 am – 11:00 am ET)
“Join SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and Facebook’s VP and Chief Privacy Officer for Policy Erin Egan for a fire side chat about how to start and grow a business.” In addition to hearing McMahon’s personal story, you’ll have a chance to submit your own questions. Tune in on the SBA’s Facebook page.
- The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses
(May 2, 2:00-3:00 pm ET)
Presented by Visa, in this webinar economist Jay Hawkins will discuss the near-term outlook for the U.S. economy and how that will affect small business. Specific topics will include economic expansion and recession, spending growth expectations by demographic segment, and job growth. Register here.
- 5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions (May 3, 2:00-3:00 pm ET)
“Learn how to go from being a local business owner to a local business CHAMPION.” Learn best practices for web design and branding, creating robust business profiles, and social media marketing. Register here.
- Grow Your Business Online (May 3, 4:00-5:00 pm ET)
This Google sponsored webinar will, “introduce the basics of connecting with customers online, including reaching local customers with a free business listing, search engine optimization tips to help your website be found, and an introduction to online advertising.” Register here.
- The Future of Small Business Innovation (May 4, 2:30-3:30 pm ET)
Join this panel of experts from SaaStr, Salesforce, Square, Zenefits, and the SBA to discuss how small businesses use innovation to drive growth. Register here.
- How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less
(May 4, 3:30-4:30 pm ET)
This workshop presented by Constant Contact will teach you how to, “kick writer’s block to the curb and be confident that you’ll know exactly what to say to create an effective email marketing message.” You’ll get a worksheet template you can use for your own marketing efforts with instructions on how to use it, and you’ll have a chance to ask your own email marketing questions. Register here.
- Find the Hidden Money in America (May 4, 5:00-6:00 pm ET)
Best-selling author, Nely Galán,” gives advice on how and where to pursue the hidden money in America” including grants, contracts, government programs, and private sector resources. Register here.
You can also follow all the National Small Business Week events and conversations on Twitter (and join them as well!) using #SmallBusinessWeek.
Whether you pick an online event, a local event, or an official conference be sure to take advantage of some portion of National Small Business Week, so that you can share your insights and success stories with other small business owners in your community, and draw inspiration from theirs.
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