National Small Business Week 2020 Is This Month – September 22-24

What is National Small Business Week, and how can SBOs get involved?

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All you need to know about National Small Business Week 2020 — including its history, national award categories, and ways to celebrate

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced National Small Business Week will be held September 22 to 24. It was postponed from its usual time in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

National Small Business Week usually features events and activities that highlight the role of small businesses in the United States economy and their contributions to communities across the nation.

“I am thrilled to host SBA’s virtual National Small Business Week ceremony and provide this opportunity to recognize inspiring entrepreneurs from across the country for their innovation, and in many cases this year, resilience,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, a co-sponsor of the celebration, describes NSBW 2020 as a tribute to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and others involved in commerce from all 50 states and select U.S. territories.

As part of the celebration this year, the SBA will host virtual events, education panels, and awards.

The SBA also encourages state and local governments to issue proclamations declaring Small Business Week in their districts and communities. The agency even provides an online sample proclamation that issuers can customize.

A 57-year tradition

NSBW began in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy issued the first proclamation acknowledging small businesses’ achievements. Kennedy reportedly believed in the importance of recognizing entrepreneurs. Every U.S. president since then has continued the practice, with 2020 being the 57th tribute.

Half of all SMBs survive 5 years or more, and nearly a third survive 10 years or more.

The SBA is promoting NSBW 2020 on its website, where it commends SBOs and entrepreneurs by stating, “Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.”

Small is bigger

SMBs have lots to “crow” about, just based on their size alone. According to the latest figures available from the SBA Office of Advocacy (2016), there are 30.2 million SMBs nationwide. And those with fewer than 500 employees made up a staggering 99.7% of all U.S. businesses with paid employees.

According to the latest figures available from the SBA Office of Advocacy (2016), there are 30.2 million SMBs nationwide.

In other statistics from the SBA or its Office of Advocacy:

  • More than half of all U.S. workers either own SMBs or are an employee of one
  • U.S. SMBs generate 2-in-3 new jobs a year, or about 62% of all net new jobs
  • SMBs account for 44% of the U.S.’s gross domestic product
  • First-year survival rates for SMBs have improved, reaching nearly 80% from 2014 to 2015
  • Half of all SMBs survive 5 years or more, and nearly a third survive 10 years or more

National award winners

“A National Small Business Week award is one of the nation’s highest honors for small business achievement.”

NSBW honors outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners in various award categories. The SBA requested nominations for this year’s awards in a September 5, 2019 media release, in which SBA Acting Administrator at the time, Chris Pilkerton, said: “We are proud to recognize the small business owners that have made it their mission to support their communities and drive the entrepreneurial spirit forward. A National Small Business Week award is one of the nation’s highest honors for small business achievement.”

Categories

The award categories include:

Small Business Person of the Year: The top nominee is cited for growing an exceptional business, developing innovative products, increasing sales, overcoming adversity, and contributing to the community. Some states already have released their 2020 winners.

Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business of the Year: The winning enterprise is a 15-year-old family-owned, multi-generational operation.

Micro-Enterprise of the Year: The recipient is a business with 5 or fewer employees (including the owner) that received SBA technical or loan-related assistance.

Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: The winning business is majority-owned by a U.S. Armed Forces veteran with at least a three-year track record.

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: The award winner is largely an ethnic minority-owned enterprise with at least a three-year track record.

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: The recipient is a largely woman-owned enterprise with at least a three-year track record.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: The award winner must be under 30 years of age by June 1, 2020, and be a majority owner/operator with at least a three-year track record.

Home-Based Business of the Year: The top nominee is a home-based business.

Other award categories include:

  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Small Business Manufacturer of the Year
  • Financial Services Champion of the Year
  • Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery
  • Federal Procurement Awards
  • Awards to SBA Resource Partners
  • Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year
  • Small Business Investment Company of the Year
  • District Office Award

The week’s agenda

Tuesday, September 22, 1 p.m. EST – “Pride in America’s Small Businesses

Day’s events include:

  • National Small Business Week Welcome by SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza
  • Keynote Address
  • National Small Business Week Awards Presentations

Wednesday, September 23, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation

Day’s events include:

  • Panel Discussion Series – America’s Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
  • Mid-day Sessions – SBA’s Veteran Resources and Veteran Success Story Videos

Thursday, September 24, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation

Day’s events include:

  • Panel Discussion Series – America’s Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate
  • Mid-day Sessions – The Business Landscape of today and Federal and Local Resources to Empower Small Businesses

Ways to celebrate

Besides joining the virtual conference and taking part in local NSBW events, small businesses also can:

  • Share their owner/operating experiences on social media
  • Take part in Twitter chats
  • Officially thank employees and customers
  • Offer patrons discounts or other deals during the week
  • Partner with fellow small businesses in their community
  • Share information from the SBA, SCORE, and other sources with fellow businesspeople
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