President Obama made National Small Business Week official, even signing a proclamation to do so.
“Small businesses represent an ideal at the heart of our Nation’s promise — that with ingenuity and hard work, anyone can build a better life,” the president’s proclamation begins. “They are also the lifeblood of our economy, employing half of our country’s workforce and creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs.”
This week is the time for the Small Business Administration to highlight the programs it offers to small businesses. The agency kicked off its celebration at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
On Tuesday SMB week goes to Kansas City, where H&R Block founder Henry W. Bloch will speak as to how he grew his tax preparation firm into a giant enterprise. Then ion to Boston on Wednesday, where high-tech business leaders will discuss innovation at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center.
The fun will end back in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. Chamber of Commercewill host a Thursday evening reception featuring Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen. The founder and CEO of Papa John’s, John Schnatter also will speak at this event. Schnatter made headlines in 2012 by complaining that the cost of complying with the Affordable Care Act will force him to raise pizza prices.
The SBA will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of SCORE, whose volunteers have provided business counseling and mentoring to 10 million small business owners since 1964. It will also be celebrating the launch a $2.5 million grant competition for “growth accelerators” that foster entrepreneurship. It’s particular looking for accelerators in the middle of the U.S., since the East Coast and West Coast already are well served by such organizations. The SBA is looking for more accelerators that serve women-owned startups and manufacturing.
The private sector is also involved with the Republican-oriented National Federation of Independent Business offering online information sessions on various topics and the Democratic-oriented Small Business Majority is presenting webinars as well.
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