Crossposted from the SBA’s Open for Business blog.
This week, America’s celebrates the difference-makers in our economy as we kickoff National Small Business Week today at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
This year, we’re hosting events in San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston, and Washington D.C., as well as a special online forum on Wednesday. Our events, workshops and panels all week long will be live-streamed at www.sba.gov/nsbw. Friday we’ll announce our National Small Business of the Year in the nation’s capital, so you’ll want to log on for that.
This country’s 28 million small businesses create nearly two out of three jobs in our economy, so we can’t have a conversation about creating jobs and economic growth in America without talking about ways to support our entrepreneurs.
National Small Business Week is a time to make sure our entrepreneurs know about the services the SBA offers. And it’s a week to encourage consumers to give a local business a try – or to order online from a small, Internet-based business.
This is also a week – with events at Twitter and Microsoft – to reflect on the transformative impact of technology in speeding the growth of our small businesses. Throughout most of American history, it has been companies like Xerox, GM and DuPont that served as our laboratories for innovation. They invented game-changing technologies like the computer mouse and Teflon, but now small businesses have taken the lead, outpacing the innovation rate of larger firms.
In 2014, small firms can reach customers with one smart click of a mouse. They can analyze data faster, conduct national recruiting searches from their laptop, and communicate with potential customers halfway around the world. Social media companies like Twitter have revolutionized the way companies engage with their customers. It used to take millions of dollars in ad buys for a small business to become a big one, but not anymore.
Today, companies like Twitter can help entrepreneurs start real conversations with consumers to build customer loyalty. Entrepreneurs can do business in their pajamas; all you need is a great idea, a marketable skill, a laptop and the know-how to use it. On our live stream this week, we’ll host workshops that explain how entrepreneurs can promote and grow their business in the mobile and digital space.
It doesn’t matter if you run a restaurant, a janitorial company, an E-commerce website, or the next big thing in tech, the SBA is here for you. Let’s make this National Small Business Week a two-way conversation. Send me your thoughts, ideas, and feedback to our weeklong celebration at #SBW2014. Together, we’ll grow America’s small businesses and the national economy along with it.