June 17 to 21 is National Small Business Week—the 50th anniversary of the annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the ingenuity and dedication of America’s 28 million small businesses.
But the week isn’t just about recognition. It’s a chance for entrepreneurs and business owners across the U.S. to network and get timely insights on some of today’s top small-business concerns—whether on federal health-care reform or online marketing strategies.
This year’s event will have main live gatherings in five U.S. cities—Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. But even if you can’t attend, many of the key addresses will be live streamed at SBA.gov. At 4 p.m. ET on Monday through Thursday, a Google+ Hangout on a timely issue will be open to any business that wants to join. There will also be smaller events hosted in cities around the U.S.
Here’s a look at some of the week’s highlights:
June 17 (Seattle): The week kicks off with a welcome from Alex Fong, senior director of alternative channels for Microsoft, and a video message from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.); Lee Rhodes, founder of handmade glass company Glassybaby will then give a keynote. Breakout session topics will include topics such as exporting, government contracting for women and cyber security. Google+ Hangout: “Getting Started With Social Media”
June 18 (Dallas): Events will include an “armchair interview” with SBA Administrator Karen Mills, as well as breakout sessions on government contracting for small businesses and the Affordable Care Act. Google+ Hangout: “Managing Your Business’s Online Reputation”
June 19 (St. Louis): Breakout session topics will include finding capital for a business and immigrant entrepreneurship. Google+ Hangout: “How a Mentor Can Help Your Business”
June 20 (Pittsburgh): Breakout session topics will include crowdsourcing and legal issues around patents and innovations. Google+ Hangout: “How to Get a Loan for Your Business”
June 21 (Washington, D.C.): Keynote speaker Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, will present awards for state and national Small Business Person of the Year. The final day will also include a session on the Affordable Care Act and a dinner awards ceremony.
Want to learn more about National Small Business Week? You can find the full schedule and other information on SBA.gov.
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