In case you didn’t know, National Small Business Week is scheduled for this week. This year marks the 51st year of its observation; it came into existence under President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Last year, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. “America’s small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a Nation — daring and innovative, courageous and hopeful, always working hard and looking ahead for that next great idea,” said President Barack Obama last year when making his Presidential proclamation. “They are our economy’s engine and our biggest source of new jobs.”
As we all know, small business is the bedrock of American business. Small manufacturers and wholesale distributors are the small businesses that are close to our hearts, but we also know that small businesses from many different industries are making large contributions to the country’s economy. “More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year,” says the U.S. Small Business Administration. And nearly all businesses start out as small businesses. These days, powered by technology, small businesses are easier to start and be successful than ever.
Official events are being scheduled in four cities – San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston, and Washington — but unofficial events are also being held all over the United States, as well as online, by small businesses, the companies that serve them, and area business organizations such as the local Chamber of Commerce. (The official events will also be live-streamed on www.sba.gov.) So be sure to look in your state or region for events commemorating this important occasion.
Of course, for some of us, every week is Small Business Week. But, as Bloomberg Business Week notes, it’s always nice to be recognized. Here’s some ways that you can recognize the importance of small business – and, if you’re a small business, too, get some recognition for yourself as well.
- Are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce? If not, join! It’s a great way to meet people in your community who could become your customers. It might have its own slate of National Small Business Week activities you could participate in. Perhaps your local Chamber could recognize an outstanding small business in your area.
- Offer specials or discounts to other small businesses.
- Support small businesses in your community! Visit a local small business and post Tweets and Facebook updates about it using #SBW2014 to call attention to National Small Business Week.
As Steve Martin would say, “Let’s get…small.”
Steve Leavitt, GM of U.S. Cloud Solutions for Exact