The nation’s top entrepreneurs will be honored at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week events May 16 to May 20 in Washington, D.C. This year's event, themed "Empowering Entrepreneurs," marks the 58th anniversary of the agency and the 48th annual presidential proclamation of National Small Business Week.
The highlight of the celebration will be the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year, selected from local winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
The state small business winners reflect a broad range of business products, services and innovation, including a pediatric outpatient clinic, a technology solutions company, a gourmet chocolate company, a eco-friendly "green" commercial cleaning company and an educational publisher.
During the three-day event, men and women will also be recognized for their involvement in disaster recovery, government contracting and their support for small business and entrepreneurship. Awards will be presented to SBA partners in financial and entrepreneurial development, including the year's top SCORE chapter, small business development center and women's business center.
“Small business owners and employees across America are proving their resiliency as they continue to drive the nation out of recession through economic growth and job creation,” said SBA administrator Karen Mills. “National Small Business Week gives us an opportunity to honor their achievements and the spirit of entrepreneurship , innovation and determination that makes them the engine of our economy and our nation’s economic recovery.”
Cities from coast-to-coast such as Charlotte, N.C., and San Francisco are holding local small business weeks during that same week to tie in with the national celebration. In the heartland, DemandQuest, a marketing institute based in Minneapolis, will be offering a week of free three-hour seminars focused on helping small business owners with Web marketing .
A number of companies, including the bulk retailer Sam's Club and office center franchiser PostNet, are also piggybacking on the SBA event to promote their support of small business.
Approximately 2,000 Sam's Club home office executives and club managers will participate in the company's "Step Up for Small Business" program and visit and work at more than 2,000 local small businesses throughout the country during May.
For every business they visit, Sam's Club will provide grant money to nonprofit organizations supporting small businesses up to a total of $200,000. The retailer, a co-sponsor of the SBA's national event, will also offer a series of pro-small business values, including reduced membership fees and lowered prices on some of the most frequently purchased items by small business owners.
PostNet is sponsoring a "Boost This Biz" contest on Facebook that will award a small business owner a $10,000 grant and a $5,000 credit toward PostNet services.
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.