5 Things to Know About Small Business Week

It’s that time of year again when many across the nation celebrate small businesses.

Each year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week (NSBW). According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans today 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.

Here are five things you should know about this year’s weeklong event, which kicks off Monday:

5-city tour

This year’s NSBW kicks off Monday in Miami and culminates on Friday in Washington D.C., where national winners will be recognized and awarded, including the 2015 National Small Business Person of the Year. Each of the following cities will feature one day of events during the week: Miami (May 4), Los Angeles (May 5), San Antonio (May 6), New York City (May 7) and Washington D.C. (May 8). You can check out the full list of events broken down by city here.

Dream big, start small

"Dream Big, Start Small" is the theme of this year’s celebration, which according to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet “salutes small business owners who risk so much every day to generate jobs and create a better future for themselves and their families.”

The events in each city will focus on entrepreneurs who realized their dreams with the help of SBA programs, such as LINC – a new SBA program that connects small businesses with SBA-approved small business lenders. In New York City on Thursday, successful millennial entrepreneurs across various industries will gather for a town hall conversation focused around entrepreneurship. The week ends with another entrepreneur-focused event in Washington D.C., InnovateHER, a live pitch competition featuring 15 entrepreneurs with products that support the lives of women and families.

On-line training webinars

From the “Secrets of Crafting a Digital Footprint” to “How Online Payments Can Drive Small Business Growth,” your business could benefit from one of the online training webinars being offered throughout the week by the SBA and event co-sponsors. The webinars cover a variety of common business topic areas regarding pay, digital footprints, new chip card payment technologies, benefit packages and online payment strategies. Visit www.sba.gov/nsbw/webinars for the full webinar schedule and to register.

Who’s who

Keynote speakers this year include: Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator and President Obama Cabinet Member; Roland Smith, Office Depot CEO and Mike Muse, co-founder of Muse Recordings and SBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneur Champion.

Events live-streamed

The SBA’s goal for NSBW is to educate entrepreneurs and help more small businesses start, grow and succeed. If you can’t attend one of the local events, you can catch them live-streamed throughout the week on the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/nsbw.