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District Director's Corner - 2014 Small Business Week Special Edition

Dennis S. Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director

This will be the 51st year SBA celebrates National Small Business Week (NSBW). The St. Louis District Office also has a long tradition of honoring our local small businesses for their accomplishments and our local lending institutions for their loans to small businesses. Small businesses and their supporters will be honored locally May 5-9, 2014, and nationally May 12-16, 2014.

Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri (SBWEM) also offers a wide variety of training and networking opportunities, many of which are free. A full schedule of events can be found at http://sbwem.org/calendar-of-events/. You will find events hosted by your SBA St. Louis District Office as well as events hosted by our resource partners and other organizations. You’ll also find SBA St. Louis staff members at most of the events. We encourage you to take advantage of the training and networking opportunities available.  As always when you attend events, come prepared with a stack of business cards and your elevator speech.

SBA’s mission to help small businesses start, grow, and succeed is readily apparent during NSBW and SBWEM. Many of the award winners have received SBA assistance of some sort, whether it was a small business loan through our lending partners, counseling through our resource partners, participation in one of our contracting programs, attendance at SBA training, or a combination of assistance. When you meet these winners, you’ll often find huge SBA advocates. Listen to their stories of how they achieved success and you might find some good ideas for your own small business.

NSBW will have an online day this year. We encourage you to participate in those events as time allows. The website with the schedule can be found at http://www.sba.gov/nsbw/.

SBA works to assist small businesses throughout the year. SBA lending partners make loans throughout the year and SBA resource partners provide counseling and training throughout the year. It’s only once a year we get to publicly honor small businesses for an entire week. We recognize your hard work, your dedication, and your contributions to the nation’s economy through our awards because we know you’ve earned it!  So here’s a toast to all the small business owners in Eastern Missouri who make our communities strong and to all the lenders and resource partners which support those small businesses. Congratulations on another year of exceptional achievement and on making the American dream a reality.

See you during Small Business Week 2014!