Monday, May 4, 2015 begins National Small Business Week and kicks off a huge variety of events across the nation and online celebrating small businesses. This year marks the 52nd year for the event. And in keeping with tradition, President Barack Obama is expected to usher in the week of festivities with an official proclamation. In last year’s statement Obama explained:
“Employing millions of Americans and creating nearly two out of three new jobs, America’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy. More than that, our small businesses represent what is best about America – that with hard work and ingenuity, anyone — no matter their background — can build a better future for themselves and their families.”
While the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a series of national events for the week, many other organizations, businesses and communities are planning events to celebrate and encourage small business too.
To help you keep track, we’ve compiled this monster list of Small Business Week activities. Join the festivities and opportunities locally or online!
We will continue to add to this list of activities, so check back. Please let us know about other events we haven’t mentioned. Either leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, May 4
National Small Business Week Kickoff — The U.S. Small Business Administration kicks off National Small Business Week with an event at Office Depot Inc. headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. The keynote speech will be from SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. And Office Depot CEO Roland Smith will also address those in attendance. Attendees will hear from small business professionals in a program lasting from noon to 4:30 pm.
Maui Small Business Week Events — The organization Maui Small Business Week is running five days of events for the second year running. The festivities begin with an opening ceremony “Aloha Works” with hosts David Kapaku and John Ha’uoli Tomoso at 9 a.m. Monday at the The Fairmont Kea Lani in South Maui, Hawaii.
Breakfast at Joe’s Coffee Shop — The city of Watauga, Texas, the SBA, and other sponsors are hosting this local event to celebrate National Small Business Week. Robin Lasher, of the Tarrant County Small Business Development Center, will present an educational program for small business owners on a free local resource.
Small Business Week at Twickenham Square — SBA Alabama District Director Tom Todt and Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle will kick off National Small Business Week downtown at Twickenham Square in Huntsville, Alabama. A press conference will be followed by a block party.
Tuesday, May 5
SBA Chief Talks International Trade — SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will speak on international trade and how small businesses can benefit in a National Small Business Week presentation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. There will also be a panel discussion and a chance for audience members to ask questions. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Conference on Innovation — The City of Columbia, South Carolina holds a Small Business Week Conference at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keynote speakers will be William D. Kirkland, executive director of the University of South Carolina, Office of Economic Engagement and Louis B. Lynn, President of ENVIRO AgScience, Inc. The event will have five different sessions covering various business topics.
EPIC 15 — The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) will present its “EPIC 15: Entrepreneur Potential and Innovation Collaboration 2015 at OzSBI” event 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in West Plains, Missouri. Keynote speaker will be Ted Amberg of Amberg Entertainment. And the event will also include speakers, a business pitch competition, and the “EPIC Mix & Mingle.”
Wednesday, May 6
4 Hour Super Jam — In honor of Small Business Week, Infusionsoft will be hosting the first ever “4 Hour Super Jam” on May 6, 2015 from 6pm EST to 10pm EST. The event will consist of a series of interviews with business growth experts covering a wide array of topics including finance, technology, marketing, sales, ecommerce, social media and more!
Lending for Small Businesses — If you need financing to start or grow your small business, you know the challenges well. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet discusses the SBA’s financial programs in an address at the University of Texas at San Antonio. One of the programs to be discussed is LINC, which connects small businesses with lenders approved by the SBA. The event will be from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.
Dream Big, Start Small — In honor of National Small Business Week, the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University is hosting “Dream Big, Start Small,” a presentation featuring successful entrepreneurs and their stories. The event starts at noon in the Glenn Auditorium in Cape Girardeau and is open to everyone. CTO and Co-Founder Michael Rzeznik of RoverTown, an app-based student discount service, will be among the guest experts.
Small Business Bootcamp — Sage Lewis, founder of SageRock, an online marketing company, will give insight about social media, Search Engine Optimization and more. The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) will host this small business bootcamp on marketing and branding from 5:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the offices of the Skylight Financial Group.
Thursday, May 7
#SMBTalk Twitter Chat on Small Business Productivity Hacks — Join Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell (@SmallBizTrends) and SVP, Global Head of SMB Product at First Data Corporation, Peter Karpas (@FirstData) in this twitter chat on the topic of Small Business Productivity Hacks. The Twitter chat is an hour long chat that begins on Twitter at 7:00 p.m. EST under the hashtag #SMBTalk.
Targeting Millennial Entrepreneurs — A gathering inside the Empire State Building will feature entrepreneur Mike Muse and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. There will be panel discussions entitled “Millennial Entrepreneur Conversation” and “Social Media Conversation,” for example, and a reception. The events will run from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Small Business Roundtable — GoodStreets will host a free small business roundtable event at the Free Library in Guilford, Connecticutt, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr, State Representative Sean Scanlon, and State Representative Vincent Candelora will listen to your concerns and address issues small businesses face.
Reception for Professional and Business Women — The “Walker’s Legacy” lecture series and “Accelerate with Google” will celebrate National Small Business Week with a networking reception for professional and business women. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reception chairwomen include Ana Recio Harvey, Director of D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development and Kimberly Bassett, Director of the D.C. Office of Women’s Policy and Initiatives.
Friday, May 8
SBA InnovateHer Competition — The SBA InnovateHer competition will be held at the Washington Post, where 15 entrepreneurs will pitch their products or services. Finalists will face expert judges and do a 2-minute pitch as well as answer judges’ questions. A total of $30,000 in prize money will be awarded. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
Palm Beach Entrepreneur Awards Luncheon — SCORE and Comerica Bank invite everyone to celebrate the achievements of local entrepreneurs at the Palm Beach entrepreneur awards luncheon at the West Palm Beach Marriott. There will also be a workshop by Linda Yates, an expert in reading body language.
Business Pitch Competition — The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) of Cleveland, Ohio will host the finale of their Business Pitch Competition, giving aspiring small business owners a chance to win up to $20,000 in cash. The event will be hosted at Music Hall at Cleveland Public Auditorium.
Patents and Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses — The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Lewisburg, Pennsylvania is hosting a free workshop on patents and intellectual property rights for small businesses, with speakers from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The event runs from 12 pm to 1 pm at Hunt Hall.
Events Running All Week
AVVO Advisor is offering a 50% discount just for Small Business Week. For the week it’s $19 for a 15-minute call with an attorney, on business issues.
Rhonda Abrams and USAToday are offering free downloadable “grow your business” worksheets everyday during Small Business Week. Go here to get your worksheets. Also join them for a Facebook chat on Thursday, May 7th, at 2 pm Eastern #YeartoGrow.
Microsoft Hosts Events All Week — Microsoft is hosting free events every day from Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8 at the Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fort Lauderdale Small Business Week — Fort Lauderdale Small Business Week, in conjunction with National Small Business Week, will host free events from May 4 to May 10. There will be conferences, workshops, wine tasting and meals.
Daily Events from Austin Small Business Program — The City of Austin Small Business Program will be hosting events throughout the week. There will be presentations from local entrepreneurs, and also seminars, classes, and music.
Small Business Presentations — Events, held every day in Waterville, Maine, will include presentations on increasing sales, reducing energy costs, using QuickBooks, improving sustainability, and many other topics.
Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce – The Greater Chambersberg Chamber of Commerce has free events planned every day, ranging from a workshop on selling to the Federal Government to a “shop local” day.
Small Business Selfies — Here’s an interesting idea. To celebrate National Small Business Week, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce in Lowell, Massachusetts is encouraging members to post their “small business selfies” on their website all week.
Networking Seminars to Improve Your Business — The Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, Patchogue, New York will have seminars and networking events all week.
10 Webinars — To celebrate National Small Business Week the Wyoming Business Council is hosting 10 webinars throughout the week. Topics include finding start-up assistance, doing market research, financing, and managing employees. Registration is required, but the online events are free.
Microsoft Store Holds Special Events — To celebrate Small Business Week, the Microsoft Store in Corte Madera, California will have events Monday, May 4 through Thursday, May 7. There will be lunch meetings and previews of new technologies. Microsoft says you should check other MS stores across the country for additional events.
2015 Small Business Person of the Year Winners Celebration – See the complete list of the 54 winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more about what’s going on during Small Business Week and beyond, see our Small Business Events Calendar.More in: National Small Business Week