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Recognizing Outstanding Entrepreneurs During National Small Business Week
By Cassius Butts, SBA Region IV Administrator
From encouraging hiring veterans to finding new opportunities to expand a business, National Small Business Week recognizes the best in America’s entrepreneurs. Each year, since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding small business owners from across the nation.
National Small Business Week provides a roadmap for how the government and the public can support the difference-makers in our economy. We know small businesses create nearly two out of every three new jobs in this country, and if Americans want to improve their communities and create jobs in their local economies, they should shop at small businesses. Consumers make choices every day, and this is our week to remind them why supporting one of the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone of the U.S. economy is so important.
President Obama has supported small businesses throughout his Administration. He has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times, expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, and remains committed to strengthening our economy by growing the middle class.
Partnering with companies like Twitter and Microsoft, the SBA is hosting exciting events in communities across the country and online at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek. Each event will bring more tools, tips and resources to America’s 28 million small businesses, in conjunction with efforts to help businesses take their companies to the next level. We’ll be focused on workshops, matchmaking, and mentoring for small business owners. You can find events in each of the following cities:
- San Francisco, CA – Monday, May 12
- Kansas City, MO – Tuesday, May 13
- Boston, MA – Thursday, May 15
- Washington, DC – Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16
Along the way, we’ll be joined by local leaders and successful entrepreneurs, including Henry and Tom Bloch (founders of H&R Block), Jim Koch (founder of Sam Adams and the Boston Beer Company), and John Schnatter (founder of Papa John’s Pizza, based in Louisville, KY).
Here are a few ways for you to join us in celebrating National Small Business Week:
- Participate online from anywhere in the world. Events and webinars will be live-streamed at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek.
- Visit a local small business and post Tweets and Facebook updates using #SBW2014 to highlight National Small Business Week.
Mr. Tommy Ray Cornett, President and Founder of Bleed Blue Tattooing and Piercing, Inc. in Lexington, KY was named the SBA 2014 Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year by the Kentucky District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA’s Kentucky District Office also honors Small Business Advocates each year, including:
- Mr. Jeffrey Elswick, VP and Chief Commercial Lender at Kentucky Farmers Bank in Ashland, as the 2014 Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year;
- Mr. Mark Hill, VP of Operations for Messer Construction in Lexington, as the 2014 Kentucky Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year;
- Ms. Marisa Neal, President of MMN Consulting, LLC in Louisville, as the 2014 Kentucky Women Business Advocate of the Year, and
- Dr. Sharon Kerrick, Founder of the VetStart Program at the University of Louisville, as the 2014 Kentucky Veteran’s Small Business Advocate of the Year.
Kentucky winners will be honored locally at the “Kentucky Celebrates Small Businesses” event in Lexington on June 11.
Small businesses are the cornerstone of our great nation. Entrepreneurialism is central to our country’s spirit. Now more than ever, opportunities are available to all Americans. During National Small Business Week, we are thrilled to celebrate innovative entrepreneurs and help small business owners receive the tools and resources they need to become the next great American success story. Come celebrate with us!