Join Us at National Small Business Week Forums on Innovation, Exporting, and Social Media, May 23-25

For more than 45 years, the annual celebration of our dynamic small business sector, National Small Business Week, has given our nation a great opportunity to celebrate the powerful energy, passion, and strength of America’s entrepreneurial spirit. National Small Business Week 2010 takes place May 23 through May 25, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, D.C. 

I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with this annual event since I arrived at SBA, and for several years was honored to serve as its director. This year, as acting chief counsel for advocacy, I’m wearing a different hat, but National Small Business Week is still very much in my heart and on my mind.

So let me alert you to what’s happening and invite you to attend some events that are free and open to the public. If you will be in the Nation’s Capital during the following dates, we’d love to see you there!

  • On Monday, May 24, from 2 to 3:15 pm in the Oriental Ballroom, Cbeyond sponsors the first of three 2010 National Small Business Week forums, this one on innovation, titled “Turning Innovation into Jobs.” America’s small businesses are leaders in innovation, which helps them grow, compete, and create jobs. This panel featuring big and small businesses will discuss how your company can use innovation to grow your business, the community, and the economy.
  •  Take a short break and then, from 3:30 to 5 pm, come back to the Oriental Ballroom for the exporting forum sponsored by UPS, focusing on “Customers, Profit$, Jobs, and Growth.” Did you know that 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States? In an era of globalization, new markets continue to open up overseas for small business. Learn about the National Export Initiative and how our U.S. trade promotion agencies are responding to President Obama’s call to double exports over the next five years. Hear how individual small firms have found success in the global marketplace.
  •  If you’re interested in how new media are reshaping the small business world, come Tuesday morning, May 25, 10:30 to 11:45 am for “Social Media and Small Business: Join the Conversation.” Attendees will learn about current trends in the social media marketplace, potential concerns in using these media and how to deal with them, tips to help you get started, free apps, and why social media should be part of your marketing strategy.

 All of the events will also be webcast. You can tune in at any time by going to the Small  Business Week website   and clicking on “webcast.”

For me, the best part of National Small Business Week is meeting the remarkable Small Business Award Winners—small business owners and the people who champion their efforts. When you read the biographies of the 2010 winners you’ll see just how they have weathered economic storms, as well as other business challenges. Now their tenacity is paying off, as the economy starts to rebound. As President Obama said at last year’s event, it’s an especially impressive time to be running a successful small business.

 —Susan M. Walthall, Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy