National Small Business Week is an event that has taken place since 1963 - a dedicated week that gives us a chance to reflect on the importance of small businesses to our local and national economies. Small Business Week is celebrated with special events, awards, educational programs, and a rally cry for citizens to shop small and show appreciation for local small businesses. Small Business Week 2016 will take place from May 1-7 and this year's theme is "Dream Big, Start Small."
Small business owners can:
- Run a special Small Business Week promotion, sale or contest.
- Take the time to thank employees for their support.
- Write a blog post about Small Business Week and what it means to you to be a small business owner.
- Celebrate Small Business Week on your social media pages, using the dedicated hashtag #DreamSmallBiz
- Support local small businesses by visiting their favorites and discovering new ones this week.
- Write an online review of your favorite small businesses to help boost their online reputation.
- Communicate your support to your local small businesses on their social media pages.
Small Business Week 2016 Events
Small Business Association
The SBA will be holding many events and webinars during Small Business Week. The best part is that the events will be streamed live so no matter where you live, you can participate. You can also interact live on Twitter with the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz
Sunday, May 1
- Event - Kick-off at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 7:30-8:30pm ET
Monday, May 2
- Event - Awards Ceremony at the United States Institute of Peace, 8:30-10:30am ET
- Event - Cybersecurity Panel Discussion at the United States Institute of Peace, 11am-noon ET
- Webinar - Taking the Mystery Out of Voluntary Benefits, 1pm ET
- Webinar - The Decline of Magstripe Cards—and What That Means for Your Business, 3pm ET
Tuesday, May 3
- Event - National Small Business Week Live from Atlanta, 10am-2pm ET
- Event - My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative at the Apollo Theater, 6-8:30pm ET
- Webinar - Cloud, Mobile, and Social: Great Apps and Services That Will Grow Your Business, 3pm ET
Wednesday, May 4
- Event - Colorado Small Business Week awards ceremony live from the History of Colorado Center, 11:30am-2pm ET
- Webinar - Access to Capital and Business Loans: Best Practices, 4pm ET
Thursday, May 5
- Event - Armchair Discussion with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Veteran Entrepreneurs, 1:30-2:30pm ET
- Webinar - Tips for Getting Your Business Financially Fit, 3pm ET
Friday, May 6
- Event - National Small Business Week live from San Jose, 11:30am-4pm ET
Google Small Business is celebrating National Small Business Week 2016 by educating small business owners through a range of workshops. The workshops are taking place all of over the country so you can find a workshop and RSVP here. If there are none in your area, you can also sign up to receive on-demand lessons from the workshops which will be sent right to your inbox when they become available.
- How to get found on Google Search and Google Maps
- Using StartLogic to build a free website
- How to use Google tools such as Analytics and Adwords to grow your business
- How to set up a custom email address with Gmail for Work
- How to promote your business using Adwords Express
- 10 ways to grow your business through your online presence
Microsoft is participating in Small Business Week 2016 as a Bronze Sponsor with the SBA. This means they'll play a role in the SBA 5 city tour which we mentioned earlier. If you can't make it to one of the stops on the tour, there are several other ways you can benefit from Microsoft's Small Business Week participation:
- Check the website as they will post video and content updates daily that will correspond with the themes of the SBA tour - cybersecurity, youth & diversity, women, veterans, and immigrant entrepreneurs.
- Head over to your local Microsoft Store to get special offers, including a free personal training session valued at $50 and 10 percent off your purchase of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
- Claim a $50 credit to Bing Ads
During Small Business Week 2016, Delux will be announcing the finalists of their Small Business Revolution to Main Street contest. Main street business owners from around the country have nominated their small towns to receive a $500,000 downtown makeover. On Small Business Week they will release a mini-documentary of each of the three finalists towns, and you can cast your vote from May 3-10 on which town you think deserves the grand prize.
Facebook and Instagram are official sponsors of National Small Business Week 2016. As such, two of their top executives (VP of small business, Dan Levy, and COO, Marne Levine) will be sharing tips and tricks for entrpreneures on the SBA Facebook page throughout the week. They are also hosting five events across the company throughout Small Business Week, including:
- 5/2 - Boost Your Business Event in Corpus Christi, TX
- 5/3 Boost Your Business Event in Houston, TX
- 5/5 Facebook Small Business Event in Atlanta, GA
- 5/5 Boost Your Business Event in San Antonio, TX
- 5/6 Boost Your Business Event in College Station, TX
Dell will be holding a series of meetups around the country for startups, small businesses, and tech companies to learn and discuss various issues that are important to small business.
Time Warner Cable
In honor of Small Business Week 2016, Time Warner Cable is offering an array of online educational resources for small business owners. All resources are located on their dedicated Small Business Week page. On that page, you will find:
- An Infographic with results from the Small Business Technology Impact Study
- An interactive marketing quiz so you can see how your marketing acumen stacks up
- A 10-page e-guide: 6-Step Guide to Building a Web Presence
- A series of informational videos from Smart Hustle's own Ramon Ray. This includes a discussion of the Small Business Technology Impact Study results, social media insights, a guide to responding to online reviews, data security, and tips for a great website.
Insightly is offering the following events during Small Business Week 2016.
- Twitter Chat on May 3rd at 11am EST. The chat will feature Dr. Deborah Osgood, who has been referred to by IBM as the "Oprah of small business development." You can participate in the chat by following the host @InsightlyApp and participate by using the hashtag #LoveYourCRM
- Live Stream Event on May 4th at 8pm EST. During this event, Melinda Emerson will live stream her regular #SmallBizChat. The event will include interviews with business experts, including Brent Leary, an expert in CRM implementation and strategy. The chat will include discussions of the mistakes made in the sales process and when you know it is the right time to add a sales person to your team. You can watch the chat here.
Once again, Small Business Week 2016 will take place the first week of May - Sunday, May 1 through Saturday May 7. Explore the Small Business Week 2016 events in your area, discover the online informational resources, and connect on social media using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz.