This is National Small Business Week, the annual series of events recognizing the accomplishments of small companies and the challenges they face. The Small Business Administration plans events in five big cities, and local governments and organizations will hold meetings, forums, luncheons and dinners across the country.
The SBA's schedule starts with Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet's keynote address in Miami Beach, Florida, and ends with the announcement of the Small Business Person of the Year in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
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Some of the SBA events will be streamed live online over the agency's website, www.sba.gov/nsbw . They'll also be available later on YouTube.
The SBA is also sponsoring online seminars on topics including employee benefits and credit card fraud on its website.
A sample of some of the week's events:
— Contreras-Sweet speaks at the Miami Beach Convention Center, then visits Insight Design, an architecture and design firm in Miami.
— Office Depot Inc. hosts a panel discussion on "How to Find Funding for Your Small Business" and "How to Break Into a Supply Chain" at its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. Contreras-Sweet takes part in an interview with Joyce Rosenberg, small business reporter and columnist at The Associated Press.
— Contreras-Sweet speaks in Los Angeles at the opening of World Trade Week, a series of events promoting global trade. She'll then take part in a town hall meeting on trade opportunities for small business exporters.
— The city government of Columbia, South Carolina, holds a conference on innovation.
— The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the SBA sponsor panel discussions on lending and marketing.
— SBA town hall meeting with on "Access to Capital: Fueling the Financial Engine of Small Business Growth" at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
— Southeast Missouri State University holds a presentation for students about starting or working for small businesses.
— SBA holds panel discussions in New York on entrepreneurship for millennials, people born between the early 1980s and late 1990s and on social media.
— Finals of an SBA competition for entrepreneurs whose products or services aim to help women and families. Fifteen entrepreneurs will give two-minute pitches and then answer questions from judges. The event takes place in Washington, D.C.
— The SBA Small Business Person of the Year will be announced at a reception at the White House.
Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg