Killer List of National Small Business Week 2016 Events

National Small Business Week 2016

May 1 of this year marks the first day of National Small Business Week. That means its time for a huge variety of different events aimed at celebrating all things related to small business and entrepreneurship.

The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts a series of different events aimed at small businesses throughout the week, as it has done in past years. But there are also plenty of other organizations, communities and businesses hosting their own National Small Business Week 2016 events as well.

The list below includes many of the events scheduled for this year’s National Small Business Week. Some take place in communities around the country while others happen online.

We’ll also continue adding to this list throughout the week as we come across new events, so keep checking back to keep up with the latest events.

National Small Business Week 2016 Events

Sunday, May 1

National Small Business Week Kick-off

The SBA kicks off National Small Business Week 2016 with a kick-off event at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The event includes a keynote from SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and a number of small business related awards. The event goes from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET. And you can even watch live on the SBA’s website if you can’t make it in person.

Free Google Workshops and Training

Between May 1-7, 2016, small business owners and staff can attend free Google workshops. Workshop training programs may vary and sessions are expected to last from one to three hours. Workshops will be hands-on, practical, and carried out by local city partners, including organizations such as SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers. With nearly 1,000 workshops taking place, there’s a good chance you’ll find one in your area.

Kiva Oakland Pledge Drive

The city of Oakland, California is hosting a pledge drive to help Oakland entrepreneurs with micro-loans on Kiva. The City of Oakland, Main Street Launch, Capital One, and the Miller Family Foundation are also matching loans up to $225,000.

Monday, May 2

Awards Ceremony at the United States Institute of Peace

This event features the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the year award winner. Nominees from each state and territory will be present at the ceremony and potentially take home that top honor. There are also a number of other small business awards being presented at the event, which takes place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET at the Institute of Peace.

Cybersecurity Panel Discussion

Later in the day, the SBA is also hosting a discussion and panel about cybersecurity at the Institute of Peace. The event will feature SBA Deputy Administrator Doug Kramer along with experts from Microsoft, ADP, and ESET. And you can also watch live on the SBA’s website or join the conversation on Twitter using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag.

Reaching Out to You

The Kauffman Conference Center in Kansas City, Missouri from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will host this event.  It features a panel speaking about accessing capital as well as breakout sessions on various subjects.

Access to Capital: Business Lender Workshops & Resource Fair

This event takes place at the Oakland, California City Hall and features panel discussions in English, Spanish and Mandarin about finding the right financing for your business, how to prepare to meet lenders and sources of capital. There’s also a lender and resource fair. The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Celebrating Oakland Businesses: Legacy and Future

Another event at the Oakland City Hall, this one is meant to celebrate Oakland’s family-owned businesses with a reception hosted by Mayor Libby Schaaf. It takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3

National Small Business Week Live from Atlanta

This event features SBA Deputy Administrator Doug Kramer and small business experts discussing upcoming business trends. There are also more specific workshops after the general session. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at Georgia Tech’s Research Institute Conference Center.

My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative

The Apollo Theater in New York City features a video series, interactive session and networking opportunities, all aimed at millennials. You can also watch the event online or follow on Twitter using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag.

Digital Solutions for Small Businesses

This free event takes place at the Oakland City Hall and features intensive workshops focused on various digital solutions for Oakland small businesses. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT.

Think Outside the Boss: A Workshop on Worker-Owned Cooperatives

This workshop includes an introduction to running a cooperatively owned business, including explanations about things like legal issues and employment. It is part of Oakland’s celebrations surrounding National Small Business Week and takes place at Oakland City Hall from 1 to 5 p.m. PT.

Oakland City Council: Honoring Local Small Businesses

This event features the Oakland City Council members presenting congratulatory proclamations and honoring small businesses from their respective districts. You can view the festivities online as well.

Wednesday, May 4

Colorado Small Business Week Awards Ceremony Live From the History of Colorado Center

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will honor Colorado area small business owners.  The ceremony takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. MT at the History of Colorado Center. You can also watch the event online or follow the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag on Twitter.

Diversity in Entrepreneurship is Good Business Workshops

These free workshops aimed at women in business, minority entrepreneurs and members of the LGBT+ community are held in Oakland. Events take place at the Oakland City Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Access to Capital Event

The city of West Covina, California hosts this panel event focusing on helping small businesses access capital at the West Covina City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 5

Armchair Discussion with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Veteran Entrepreneurs

This event takes place at the Arizona Biltmore, McArthur Ballroom in Phoenix and features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet having an in-depth discussion with Eli Crane of Bottle Breacher, former Shark Tank participant and Navy Seal and Angela Cody-Rouget of Major Mom, Professional Organizer and former Shark Tank participant. The event takes place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. PT. Or you can follow online or using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag.

Oakland’s Creative Industry: Makers & Artists Workshops & Mixer

Aimed specifically at creative business owners, this free event is held at Oakland City Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features various workshops throughout the day all related to creative businesses. You can register for each workshop individually.

Annual SBA Gala and Networking

The Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri is hosting a gala and networking event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide opportunities for small business owners in the St. Louis area.

Celebration of National Small Business Week

The Club at Eaglebrooke is the site of the National Small Business Week celebration in Lakeland, Florida.  The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event features food and drinks to celebrate the area’s small businesses and small businesses around the country.

Friday, May 6

National Small Business Week live from San Jose

This event takes place at the San Jose city hall and features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo as they discuss business trends and resources to help you start and grow a business. You can register to attend in-person from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT or watch online or follow on Twitter.

Healthy Business, Healthy Communities! Reception

This reception at Hiram Hall in Oakland, California features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet, Congress Member Barbara Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf as they honor Oakland’s emerging healthy food industry. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

San Antonio Small Business Week Awards Ceremony

Held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., this event honors the district’s 2016 Small Business Week winners in a special awards ceremony. The event also recognizes SBA resource partners and community organizations.

Saturday, May 7

Shop Local – Shop Oakland

The city of Oakland, California hosts this shopping celebration around its business districts. Businesses throughout the city will host promotions and sidewalk sales to encourage people to support small businesses during National Small Business Week 2016.

Events Running All Week

Chambersburg Small Business Workshops

Throughout the week, the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania is hosting a series of different workshops and other events aimed at helping small businesses. These include a social media workshop, a panel speaking on raising capital and even a networking mixer.

Pike’s Peak Region Small Business Week

The Pike’s Peak region of Colorado hosts various events throughout National Small Business Week 2016, including a food truck cook-off and small business marketing panels.

Did we miss a National Small Business Week 2016 event?  Let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.