What You Can Learn During Small Business Week 2016

As the nation celebrates National Small Business Week from May 1 through 7 to recognize entrepreneurs and small-business owners, we’re marking the occasion with an events guide (this!) for you to participate virtually, watch live and join the conversation on Twitter (follow @SBAgov and their hashtag, #DreamSmallBiz).

Consider this: According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans own or work for a small business. Perhaps more important, small businesses make up a significant chunk of job growth by creating approximately two out of every three new jobs in the country each year.

If you’re a small-business owner—whether you’re hanging your virtual shingle as a rookie for the first time this year or a veteran who’s still grasping how to leverage social media—celebrate your success! You can start by tapping into free SBA events in multiple cities across the country or join virtually via online streaming.


National Small Business Week 2016 Lineup

Sunday, May 1

National Small Business Week kicks off May 1 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. You’ll hear SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet’s keynote address along with Chase for Business, the presenting co-sponsor of National Business Week. Get inspired by awards presented to the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year, SCORE Chapter of the Year, Small Business Investment Company of the Year and more.

Watch the livestream at 7:30-8:30 p.m. (ET)


Monday, May 2

National Small Business Week: Washington, D.C. takes place May 2 at the United States Institute of Peace. In addition to the kickoff ceremony the previous night, the awards ceremony will include the National Small Business Person of the Year. Nominees from every state and territory will be present. Additional awards will be given to the Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year, Small Business Subcontractor of the Year and more.

Watch the livestream at 8:30-10:30 a.m. (ET)

Also, at the United States Institute of Peace, tune into “Cybersecurity Panel Discussion.” The SBA Deputy Administrator will discuss cybersecurity tips and trends with experts from Microsoft, ADP and ESET as more and more small businesses become targets for criminals looking to swipe confidential data.

Watch the livestream at 11 a.m.-noon (ET)

Colonial Life presents “Taking the Mystery out of Voluntary Benefits.” If you’re unclear about the advantages voluntary benefits can potentially bring to your business, or if you don’t even know what they are, this is the webinar you need to watch. You’ll hear about myths and misconceptions as well as tips, tools and yes, tactics to can become well-versed in managing benefit costs and attracting and retaining the right employees. Live online at 1-2 p.m. (ET) May 2.

Register for this webinar

Square presents “The Decline of Magstripe Cards—and What That Means for Your Business.” This webinar shares the constantly changing landscape of payments. Square’s head of business intelligence and seller education will share must-have information on all major payment changes and what you need to do to ensure your business is prepared. Live online at 3-4 p.m. (ET) May 2.

Register for this webinar


Tuesday, May 3

National Small Business Week: Atlanta takes place May 3 at Georgia Tech’s Research Institute Conference Center. The SBA deputy administrator and small-business experts will discuss business trends, which small-business sectors will be the best performers and more. After the general session, workshops will encompass ideation to commercialization, small-business opportunities in the entertainment industry and exporting opportunities.

Watch the livestream at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (ET)

National Small Business Week: New York occurs May 3 with “My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative” at the Apollo Theater. This event is the culmination of six videos and brings together millennials for the finale of the My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Video Series.

Watch the livestream at 6-8:30 p.m. (ET)


Wednesday, May 4

National Small Business Week: Denver takes place May 4 when the SBA administrator and Colorado governor pay tribute to small-business owners in Colorado.

Watch the livestream at 1:30-4 p.m. (ET)

YP presents “Cloud, Mobile, and Social: Great Apps and Services That Will Grow.” Small-business experts will discuss trends, services and tips to boost your bottom line. You’ll hear about leveraging cloud, mobile and social technologies. Live online at 3-4 p.m. (ET).

Register for this webinar

Sam’s Club presents “Access to Capital and Business Loans: Best Practices,” on navigating sources of finance and hearing about the small-business loan market and providers. In addition, they’ll discuss how to identify the right type of financial product to meet your business needs. Live online at 4-5 p.m. (ET).

Register for this webinar


Thursday, May 5

National Small Business Week: Phoenix takes place May 5 at the Arizona Biltmore with a discussion between SBA administrator and veteran entrepreneurs as they talk about business growth, marketing strategies and more.

Watch the livestream at 1:30-2:30 p.m. (ET)

Intuit Quickbooks presents “Tips for Getting Your Business Financial Fit.” Beyond knowing the balance in your bank account, this interactive webinar will share tips to boost the financial fitness of your business. Live online at 3-4 p.m. (ET).

Register for this webinar


Friday, May 6

National Small Business Week: San Jose takes place May 6 at San Jose City Hall. SBA administrator and San Jose mayor will discuss resources to not only start a business, but also how to grow and maintain it.

Watch the livestream at 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (ET)


Keep your Small Business Week inspiration, education and motivation flowing all year long with these quick tips:

Advice: Business Plans & Employment Growth

Whether you’re in the throes of writing a new business plan or you’re expanding your all-star team, SBA has you covered. For example, their eight-step plan to hiring your first employee covers the need-to-know regarding taxes and labor record retention requirements. In addition to online videos and e-Learning, they offer free workshops, such as opportunities for women in federal contracting and intro to Google analytics.

Chase for Business and American Express’ OPEN Forum include a plethora of content ranging from operations to strategy to cash flow, productivity and leadership. Follow them on Twitter @ChaseforBiz and @AMEXOpen.


Engaging with a community is important to not only share information but to also avoid isolation. On Twitter, check out #SmallBizChat covering a variety of entrepreneurial topics every Wednesday night at 8-9 p.m. (ET).


The eBooks Directory allows free downloads of popular business titles, such as 10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs, 5 Steps to Small Business Success, Go It Alone!, 85 Inspiring Ways to Market Your Small Business and classics like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.


And as the most successful entrepreneurs will tell you, always reach out to someone who’s been there, done that and lived to tell through SCORE.

For more than 50 years, the nonprofit association pairs volunteer mentors with business owners, sharing their expertise across 62 industries with free, confidential in-person or email business counseling. Plus, the site provides templates for your business as well as in-person and virtual workshops, such as “Run Your Business Like a Bike Shop.”


Vicki Salemi is a career expert, columnist, author of Big Career in the Big City, speaker and frequent on-air guest. She resides in New York City and is a huge fan of the Yankees, cardio tap (yes, as in dancing) and cardio tennis.

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