Q&A: What Is National Small Business Week?

By Rieva LesonskyBusiness on Main

You’re right, National Small Business Week (NSBW) is approaching, but this year it’s being celebrated from June 17 to June 21 (in the past, it was typically held in May). There are other changes in store for the 2013 celebration as well, according to Hayley Meadvin, deputy communications director for the Small Business Administration (SBA).

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This year marks the 60th anniversary of the SBA and the 50th anniversary of NSBW. To help celebrate, Meadvin says, instead of just holding one event in Washington, D.C., where the festivities are traditionally held, “the SBA is hosting daily events around the country.” This, Meadvin adds, will help “ensure that during National Small Business Week, we celebrate all small businesses … and reach more individuals in our small-business communities.”

The local events will be held in Seattle (6/17), Dallas (6/18), St. Louis (6/19) and Pittsburgh (6/20). There will be panels and breakout sessions in the local markets, as well as speed mentoring, networking and business matchmaking sessions. After the local events, entrepreneurs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam will be honored for their achievements on June 21 in Washington, D.C., culminating in the naming of the National Small Business Person of the Year.

In addition, at the event in Washington, D.C., attendees will have the opportunity “to interact with federal government officials, local elected leaders, representatives from national businesses and other small-business experts,” says the SBA’s Cecelia Taylor.

National Small Business Week is not just about saluting the spirit of entrepreneurship and the determination of small-business owners, but also about educating entrepreneurs. The idea is to help more small businesses start, grow and succeed. To that end, if you can’t attend any of the local events, they will all be live-streamed on the SBA’s website at sba.gov.

There will also be a series of Google Plus hangouts on a variety of “practical” small-business topics. I’ll be moderating a hangout called “Managing Your Business’s Online Reputation” on June 18 at 4 p.m. Eastern time.