Small businesses are the backbone of America and are responsible for creating approximately two thirds of all new U.S. jobs each year! And if that’s not a reason to celebrate National Small Business Week, here are three more:
- 23 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales.
- Small businesses have provided 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
- The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49 percent since 1982.
On May 12-16, 2014, be one of the millions of small-business owners standing tall and proud. Share the value small businesses bring to their local communities and this nation with your customers, employees and friends.
National Small Business Week: Participate and celebrate
As part of last year’s Small Business Week proclamation, President Obama said, “[During Small Business Week], we celebrate America’s entrepreneurial spirit and we recommit to helping our small businesses get ahead.” Here are some ideas you can use to commemorate this celebration.
Hold an event
Let your customers know it is National Small Business Week and, as a small business, you appreciate their patronage. Hold a special thank-you event where the focus is on supporting local businesses—and be sure to let your customers know you couldn’t do it without their support. Send a postcard invite to your customers, vendors and other local businesses. Have refreshments and Fortune Cookies with the custom message “We feel fortunate for your business” to convey your gratitude. Remember to have extra staff on hand to meet and greet customers and thank patrons for stopping by. A Spooner Mug or a foldaway tote makes a nice thank-you gift for your guests.
Attend an event
Check with your local association of commerce or small business administration office to find Small Business Week celebrations in your area. Attend one to show your support and to share your entrepreneurial story. And use the event as an opportunity to network and drive new traffic through your door by presenting other attendees with a special offer or promotion. For example, imprint your offer on business card coupon magnets to distribute at the event.
Support your neighbors
Remember, Small Business Week isn’t just about promoting your small business—it’s about promoting all the entrepreneurs that are making a difference in your community. Spread the news by telling friends, family and customers about your favorite local small businesses. And remember: you, too, can buy locally. This includes making purchases from vendors and suppliers you use for your business. Is there a local office supply store you can use to purchase supplies? Or a local company offering computer maintenance and IT support?
Nominate an exceptional small business
Do you have an amazing story to tell or know of an exceptional small business that deserves recognition? If so, submit a nomination for one of the many Small Business Week awards handed out each year. There are award categories for individuals, exporters, contractors, subcontractors, veterans, women and more. Check out the complete list at sba.gov.
Become a mentor
Know of a small business trying to get their feet off the ground? Support their entrepreneurial spirit by becoming a mentor. New businesses often struggle with obstacles you may be familiar with, such as understanding regulatory requirements, defining business goals and getting customers in the door. Look to your network, or contact your local association of commerce or small business administration office, to find opportunities.
Hopefully you’ve picked up an idea or two on how to recognize and promote small businesses during National Small Business Week. These important contributors to our economy and community deserve to be celebrated.
Tice, Carol. “Three Ways to Celebrate National Small Business Week.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 16 May 2011. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2014.
Kiisel, Ty. “Get Your Passport To Celebrate Small Business Week.” Forbes.com. N.p., 17 June 2013. Web. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2014.
“Finding a Business Mentor” Find a Business Mentor | SBA.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 23 Jan. 2014.