WASHINGTON – National Small Business Week 2014 celebrations kicked off today with activities at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. The annual event is hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and designed to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business advocates. The event will continue through Friday, May 16, with similar activities in Kansas City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., where festivities will conclude with the selection of the National Small Business Person of the Year.
In his proclamation declaring May 12-16 as National Small Business Week, President Barack Obama called small businesses “the lifeblood of our economy, employing half of our country’s workforce and creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs.”
National Small Business Week features panel discussions and workshops on a variety of entrepreneurial topics, from how to finance your business to leveraging social media as an effective marketing tool. In addition to the activities taking place in the four cities, there will be live streamed events and online workshops.
The President’s proclamation highlights the important role small businesses play in growing the nation’s economy and the Administration’s efforts to cultivate “an environment where small businesses can succeed.”
“Through the Small Business Administration we have supported hundreds of thousands of loans. And to ensure small businesses have a voice in economic decisions, I elevated the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet level position.
“My Administration is also working to ease burdens on businesses. We cut in half the time it takes for the Federal Government to pay small business contractors…We have eliminated SBA fees on loans under 150,000 dollars and waved fees for veterans who take out loans under 350,000 dollars. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it is now easier for small business owners to purchase quality health insurance, and they are now eligible for tax credits that cover up to half of the cost of providing coverage for their employees.”
The proclamation goes on to say “but we must ensure entrepreneurs –even those who are not rich- have the resources to take their businesses to the next level. Because if we create a more level playing field, the best ideas will rise to the top, opportunity will flourish, and America will prosper.”