For more than four decades, the U.S. Small Business Administration has acknowledged the extraordinary contributions small businesses make to the economy of our nation by designating a special week in their honor. Proclaimed by President Barack Obama, May 16 to 20 is National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., where entrepreneurs from across the nation will be recognized for their innovation, dedication and perseverance.
During National Small Business Week, the SBA pays tribute to the thousands of small businesses in America and the great men and women who lead them. The SBA is proud to acknowledge the tireless efforts and achievements of outstanding individuals, including small business persons from each of our Region VIII states of Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Utah and South Dakota.
Small businesses create nearly
70 percent of all new jobs and account for more than 50 percent of economic output. They are the makers of the products that line our shelves and fill our closets. They provide after-school programs for our children, take care of our pets, service our cars and offer entertainment for our families. Small business owners are dream-builders and risk-takers. They constitute the very backbone of our economy.
Entrepreneurship allows people to be innovative, to take an idea and, with dedication and perseverance, turn it into a profitable reality. I’m proud to say the SBA plays role in that endeavor, which is why this year’s theme of National Small Business Week is “Empowering Entrepreneurs.”
Since its inception, the SBA has designed a wide array of programs and services to help empower entrepreneurs. From financial assistance to federal government contracting, the SBA is an invaluable business partner. We protect the interests of small business concerns and we defend their rights. We help businesses and families recover from disasters. We guide entrepreneurs over hurdles and celebrate with them their victories as well.
One of the services SBA offers to empower entrepreneurs is our SBA resource partners. SBA helps fund a nationwide network of resource partners who every day help millions of potential and current small business owners start, grow and succeed. Our resource partners include nearly 400 chapters of SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Businesses, about 900 Small Business Development Centers, approximately 110 Women’s Business Centers and 16 Veteran Business Outreach Centers located across the country.
If you currently own a small business or are thinking about starting a small business, I encourage you to use these free resources. These professionals can help with writing a formal business plan, locating sources of financial assistance, managing and expanding your business, finding opportunities to sell your goods or services to the government and even recovering from a disaster.
Although you might be in business by yourself, don’t forget that you’re not completely on your own. There are resources and individuals out there to empower you and to help your business succeed. To find the local resource partner nearest to you, visit the Web site at www.sba.gov.
And don’t forget to celebrate and support your local small businesses, not only this month, but every month.
Daniel Hannaher, the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VIII administrator, works out of Denver. Reach him at (303) 844-0505 or Daniel.Hannaher@sba.gov.