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Small Business Week 2018: What It's All About

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Have you ever wondered how many small businesses you're actually interacting with every day? Consider this. There are almost 30 million small businesses in the United States, a country with 325 million people. That means there's roughly one small business for every 11 people you know. Your neighbor, your friend, or your family member may be the owner of one of these ventures, and it's time to celebrate them. National Small Business Week is a great time to to do just that.  

What Is Small Business Week?  

Started in 1963, National Small Business Week is a dedicated effort by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to recognize and celebrate the small businesses that drive our economy. It's a time for awards, which are given to remarkable small business owners and advocates, as well as education for small business owners looking to grow their businesses around the country.  

Why Was Small Business Week Started? 

Small businesses have been an important force in the US economy for decades, even if they're often overlooked in the everyday activities of consumers. Small Business Week, when started in the sixties, was one way to bring awareness to this crucial part of our culture and foster even more growth in the small business community. In this way, it's not only about urging consumer support for new companies in their community, but also focuses on the education of small business owners on crucial topics like marketing, finance, and business-building. Ultimately, both sides of this initiative spur our economy.  

These days, Small Business Week is still an important way to grow our economy. Consumers are accustomed to the convenience and the norms of large, multinational brands, which small businesses may or may not be able to realistically compete with. This week will help to foster a small-business-friendly environment by reminding Americans that their support is needed, while also helping small business owners keep up with the demands of competing for business against brands more than 1,000 times their size.   

Why Do Small Businesses Matter?  

If you're not already aware of the importance of small business, you might be oblivious to its impact on your day-to-day life. In reality, more than half of all Americans are owners or employees of small businesses. From your local mom-and-pop hardware store to the tech company stereotypically titled a "startup", these companies help foster new innovations and community-focused initiatives that impact your lifestyle every day.  

What Happens During Small Business Week?  

This year's Small Business Week is kicking off with awards for 14 categories of achievement, including the Small Business Person of the Year, Disaster Recovery, and an Innovation Award.  

After the awards are over, the true purpose of Small Business Week starts to take effect. All 68 of the SBA's local offices are hosting educational events for small business owners, and many of NSBW events are going digital with online webinars. In addition, the SBA will take to social media to gain the attention of American consumers, expecting "hundreds of millions of impressions," according to Linda McMahon.  If you're a small business owner, don't stop at just the events hosted by the SBA. Partner organizations around the country will also be hosting in-person events and webinars to help educate small business owners and employees on the must-have skills to succeed.  

How Can You Get Involved?  

No matter your involvement with small business, getting involved in small business week is easy: become a customer. Next time you're looking for a place to eat, a household item, or something to do, take a look at the small businesses in your community. You're likely to be surprised at the number of great companies that you've never thought of visiting before.  

If you're a small business owner or employee, take advantage of this week's extensive offering that could help grow your business. Most major cities will host at least one event that you can attend to network, learn a new skill, and meet other small business supporters. If you're not able to attend, consider checking out the online events that can help you develop the skills your business is missing.  

Finally, get involved in social media. A like, retweet, or share can make the difference in educating your friends and family on the importance of small businesses in your community.  


One Week's Not Enough For You?   

On May 9, StartBlox continues Small Business Week with a joint webinar with the BBB to help you take your business to the next level. If you're not sure of your next step or have a burning question that's holding you back - let us know.  This hands-on webinar will answer your questions and similar ones from your neighbors to give you information and confidence to get past fear and procrastination.

 

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