The small business category that makes up almost 99% of all businesses in the United States has been empowering the American Dream for the past 60 years. SMBs not only contribute significantly to the vast U.S. financial system but also support the local economy, creating about 1.5 million jobs per year.
Like every year, National Small Business Week (NSBW) will be celebrated and led by the federal Small Business Association from April 30 to May 6, 2023. The event will be co-hosted by SCORE, a non-profit organization that provides mentorship to small businesses of the United Nations. The 7-day long business week is expected to boost optimism among U.S.-based small business owners, job creators, and SMB-focused tech companies, as it has brought themes like innovation and economic power to the fore. Read on to learn more about NSBW 2023 celebrations, an in-detail schedule, and its strong and successful connection with B2SMB SaaS companies.
NSBW 2023: The Year of Resilience, Innovation & Economic Power
National Small Business Week honors America’s business owners, job creators, and startups to mark the occasion. Each year this annual tradition runs under a theme based on the state of affairs to inspire the nation in actionable ways. If we take a look at the last five years of theme selection, we observe a constant focus on futuristic growth.
- In 2018, the focus was on providing resources and training for small businesses to help them start, grow, and succeed. The theme was “Small Business: Dream Big, Start Small.”
- In 2019, NSBW highlighted the contributions of small businesses to the economy and communities under the theme “National Small Business Week: A Salute to America’s Entrepreneurs.”
- In 2020, NSBW was also impacted by the pandemic and shifted to a virtual format. The focus was on “Preparing for a Digital Future” and helping small businesses navigate the shift to online operations.
- In 2021, NSBW was celebrated in September instead of May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus was on “Celebrating Resilience and Renewal” and highlighting the ways small businesses had adapted during the pandemic.
- In 2022, the focus of NSBW was on “Revitalizing America’s Main Streets,” with an emphasis on supporting small businesses in rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year,NSBW focuses on celebrating, “resilience, innovation, and economic power of America’s small businesses and innovative startups,”, according to an SBA press release. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman expressed her excitement about this event, saying, “amidst a record-breaking 10.5 million people applying to start a new business under the Biden-Harris Administration, I’m thrilled to showcase our highly-impactful entrepreneurs who build prosperity in their communities while strengthening our nation’s global competitiveness.”
But what about tackling persisting challenges? The SBA is doubling down on their efforts to ensure they are meeting small businesses and startups everywhere they are, “including helping entrepreneurs navigate the evolving marketplace so that they can start, grow and sustain their businesses.”
How NSBW Spotlights SMB-focused Tech Companies
Many NSBW events and resources emphasize the importance of technology for small business growth and success. SMB-focused tech providers can use this opportunity to highlight how their products and services can help small businesses streamline their operations, improve customer engagement, and boost their bottom line.
Industry participation from SMB-focused tech companies has largely contributed to the coast-to-coast success of NSBW by contributing in various ways, including hosting workshops and webinars, providing free tools and resources, offering grants and prizes, and partnering with government agencies and other organizations to support small business growth and success.
Square: In 2021, Square, a payment processing and business management company, launched the ‘Square Small Business Stimulus Program’ during NSBW. The program provided $10 million in grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Square also hosted a virtual event called ‘Square Small Business Expo’ that featured speakers and workshops on a range of topics related to small business growth and success.
Constant Contact: In 2020, Constant Contact, an email marketing company, partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer a series of free webinars during NSBW. The webinars covered topics such as email marketing, social media, and branding for small businesses. Constant Contact also offered a free trial of their email marketing platform to small business owners.
GoDaddy: In 2018, GoDaddy, a web hosting and domain registration company, partnered with the SBA to launch the “Small Business Website Builder Challenge” during NSBW. The challenge encouraged small business owners to create a website using GoDaddy’s website builder and offered prizes for the best website designs.
Microsoft: In 2017, Microsoft participated in NSBW by hosting a series of free workshops across the country on technology for small businesses. The workshops covered topics such as cloud computing, data security, and productivity tools. Microsoft also offered free trials of their Office 365 productivity suite and other software products to small business owners.
National Small Business Week 2023 Timetable
The week will kick off in Washington D.C. with in-person award ceremonies, which will be taking place after a three-year-long interval. Below is the complete National Small Business Week timetable as per the SBA press announcement:
“On April 30, Sunday and May 1, Monday, the SBA will recognize the 2023 Small Business Persons of the Year representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. One of the state/territory Small Business Persons of the Year will be named the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year at the award ceremony on Monday, May 1.”
Administrator Guzman will hit the road and visit the following cities on the mentioned dates:
- May 2: St. Louis, MO
- May 3: Minneapolis, MN
- May 4: Phoenix, AZ
- May 5: Albuquerque, New Mexico
During the stops, local area elected officials will join her to acknowledge local award-winning small businesses and discuss the roadblocks and opportunities the SMB community is facing at present.
The SBA will also cosponsor a virtual summit of business education forums as well, details of which will be announced later.
The SBA appeals to all entrepreneurs and founders of small businesses as well as stakeholders and policymakers to take part in National Small Business Week. The current year being relatively arduous mainly due to economic obstacles and shifts in buying behaviors, NSBW can offer hope, guidance, and resurgence to many. The aim here is to spur more job creation, collaborative innovation, and achieve nationwide economic development by impelling SMB growth.