This week is National Small Business Week
National Small Business Week celebrations kicked-off this week in the nation’s capital with more than 80 national award winners from across the country and U.S. territories convening to be awarded and recognized for their major accomplishments. The two-day award ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year and three runners-up.
The Charleston Area Small Business Development Center has played an integral part in helping local small businesses grow and was SBA’s 2016 national award winner as the Small Business Development Center of Excellence and Innovation.
In 2015, the Charleston Area SBDC met with 521 clients, helped start 29 new businesses and helped generate $5.4 million in capital formation. Clients of the Charleston SBDC credited the agency with helping them create and retain 253 jobs. Through the guidance of the Charleston SBDC government procurement specialist, clients secured $1.4 billion in government contracts.
The annual Washington event is hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is designed to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business advocates. The week-long event will continue through May 6, with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet hosting planned national events in New York, Denver, Phoenix, Oakland and San Jose, Calif.
In his April 29th proclamation declaring May 1-7 as National Small Business Week, President Barack Obama declared America’s small businesses “responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of net new jobs in the United States each year and employing more than half of all Americans, small businesses have always been a vital part of our country’s economy.” He added “Across America, small businesses support economies, employ local residents, and contribute to the vibrancy of their communities.”
This year’s theme is “Dream Big, Start Small.” Throughout National Small Business Week, events will be live-streamed and focused on a variety of entrepreneurial topics including: trade, business trends and resources to help you start and grow a business, cyber security, veteran support, targeting millennial entrepreneurs and innovation. In addition there will be workshops on ideation to commercialization, small business opportunities in the entertainment industry and exporting opportunities.
There are free training webinars covering: Taking the Mystery out of Voluntary Benefits; The Decline of Magstripe Cards—and What That Means for Your Business; Cloud, Mobile, and Social: Great Apps and Services That Will Grow Your Business; and, Access to Capital and Business Loans: Best Practices, Tips for Getting Your Business Financially Fit.
To see the city-by-city schedule and to register for the webinars or view live-streamed events please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.
“Our Nation’s small businesses play a critical role in generating economic prosperity, and the effort poured into them by ordinary citizens across our country reflects the hard work and determination inherent to who we are as a people,” President Obama said in the Proclamation. “This week, we renew our support for these engines of growth and recognize their incredible contributions to our country.”