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50 Years of National Small Business Week

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50 Years of National Small Business Week

By Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
Published: June 14, 2013 Updated: June 17, 2013

This year marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week.  Although things have certainly changed since President Kennedy signed the first Presidential Proclamation in 1963, one thing that hasn’t changed is America’s entrepreneurial spirit and the important role that small business owners play in our economy and our communities.

This week, President Obama has continued America’s tradition of honoring the spirit and success of American small business owners by proclaiming June 17 - 21 to be 2013’s National Small Business Week. Small businesses have always been the backbone of our economy, and we know that the success of America’s small businesses is critical to growing our economy and increasing our nation’s global competitiveness.

Small businesses create two out of three net new private sector jobs in our economy.  And today, half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business. Over the past five years, the Obama Administration has worked to rebuild the economy and ensure that small businesses are able to do what they do best: grow and create jobs.

This year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has revamped and redesigned our efforts to bring more tools, tips and resources to America’s 28 million small businesses, in conjunction with Administration-wide efforts to make government smarter, more responsive and more streamlined.  And throughout National Small Business Week, we’ll be focused on workshops, hands-on assistance, matchmaking and mentoring for small business owners in the following cities: 

  • June 17 - Seattle, Wa.
  • June 18 - Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas
  • June 19 - St. Louis, Mo.
  • June 20 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • June 21 - Washington, D.C.

Throughout the week, we’ll be joined by entrepreneurs and experts including Jack Dorsey (Square and Twitter co-founder), Angie Hicks (founder of Angie’s List), David Steward (founder and chairman of Worldwide Technologies) and Fran Tarkenton (former NFL quarterback and entrepreneur). 

If you don’t live in these cities, you can tune into our events via live stream at, and by joining our daily Google + Hangouts with additional business and social media experts. During National Small Business Week, we also encourage you to visit your favorite local small business and tell us about it on Twitter with the official hashtag #SBW2013.

In Washington, D.C., we’ll finish the week by honoring outstanding entrepreneurs from every state and U.S. territory and announcing our 2013 National Small Business Person of the Year.  This year’s winners represent the incredible diversity of small businesses; from technological start-ups and health care providers, to a helicopter pilot training school and an organic vegetable farm.  And they are all inspiring examples of the drive and creativity that makes America’s small businesses the true engine of our economy.

For generations, Americans have pursued the dream of owning their own small business. During National Small Business Week, we recognize the critical role that these small businesses play in America’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

About the Author:

Karen Mills

Former SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.


This year is the first time I was introduced to Small Business Week (#SBW2013) thanks to the SBA. As an entrepreneur, I find that my time is scarce and being updated daily by SBA emails is extremely helpful. For those of you who aren't yet aware... the SBA has set up Google+ Hangouts with some really amazing contributors. It's definitely worth signing up to get involved and join the conversation on Google+ with the SBA. Thanks SBA!
One of the most exciting details behind Small Business Week are the thousands of programs available to you and me across the country that can help us to start, grow and succeed in our small business ventures. This includes U.S. SBA collaborative initiatives like Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Counselors to America's Small Businesses, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (government contracting guidance), Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Women in Business Centers and Youth Entrepreneurship programs. To learn more about these and other no-cost small business assistance programs, visit or visit buzgate to locate and contact the program representative in your state. Through innovation and collaboration, small business growth represents a great asset to America's economic and social vitality. Good luck!

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