National Small Business Week (NSBW) was launched in 1963 to recognize “small business owners and the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs.” Those efforts continue today under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) which claims that (1) “more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business;” and (2) “small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.”
This year’s festivities were celebrated Friday, April 29 to Saturday, May 5 in all American states and territories. Events included the NSBW Hackathon, National Awards Ceremonies, NSBW Bus Tour, NSBW Twitter Chat, and a virtual conference.
The NSBW Hackathon ran Friday to Sunday, April 27 to 29 in Washington, D.C. where the SBA and Visa invited intrepid business people to bring ideas and laptops to “spend a weekend solving real business challenges” in conjunction with the NSBW kickoff. A $24,000 prize pool was awarded to winning submissions. Members of the SBA as well as individuals outside the agency believe this new feature was successful.
The National Small Business Awards were announced Sunday, April 29 and Monday April 30 via the Small Business Administration’s Facebook page. Recognitions included:
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Award (won by Kutztown University)
- Veterans Business Outreach Excellence in Service Award
- Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
- Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year
- Small Business Investment Company of the Year
- Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery
- Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence (Services, Research & Development, and Manufacturing)
- Small Business Persons of the Year including the National Small Business Person of the Year (One from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.)
Small Business Bus Tour and Twitter Chat
The NSBW Bus Tour was a multi-city event highlighting some of America’s most outstanding business owners. Stops on 2018 bus tour include Jacksonville, Fl. (May 1); Savannah, Ga. (May 1); Columbia, S.C. (May 2); Fayetteville, N.C. (May 2); and Raleigh, N.C. (May 3).
Industry experts participated in the National Small Business Week Twitter Chat (@SBAgov) on Friday, May 4 at Noon ET, discussing “how to start and grow a small business” and more. Join/follow the conversation with #SmallBusinessWeek.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association hosted a free, 3-Day Virtual Conference Tuesday through Thursday, May 1 – 3, between 12:30 pm ET - 6:30 pm ET each day. Attendees had the opportunity to meet other business owners and chat with industry experts, all from the comfort of their chosen location. Webinar sessions include:
- How Changing Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business
- Addressing Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace
- Get New and Repeat Business On Autopilot with Email Marketing
- Creating and Sustaining a Strong Social Presence
- The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses
- Managing Your Finances in the Cloud
- Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Financing
- Sharing Your Story Through Video
- Pop & Play: How Opening a Pop-Up Shop Can Help Launch Your Retail Brand
- Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints & Keep Your Customers
- Sharing Your Story Through Video
- Fusion Marketing: The Next Generation of Marketing
About the Small Business Administration
Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government that aids, counsels, assists and protects the interests of small business concerns; preserves free competitive enterprise; and maintains and strengthens the overall economy of our nation.
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