BUCKHANNON — National Small Business Week has been celebrated during the first week of May every year since 1963. As stated by americassbdc.org, “As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.” This year, we celebrate Sunday, May 1 through Saturday, May 7.
President Joe Biden signed a proclamation on National Small Business Week on Friday April 29, 2022. President Biden said, “When I first took office, the pandemic had devastated America’s small business community. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses had closed, main streets were shuttered, and millions more Americans were out of work through no fault of their own. Even with the creativity and resilience of small business owners and workers, COVID-19 took an incalculable toll on so many lives and livelihoods. That is why I made it a top priority to provide substantial, immediate relief to our Nation’s small businesses, giving them the tools, resources and support they needed to reopen, rehire and rebuild.
“My American Rescue Plan and other emergency relief programs distributed hundreds of billions of dollars to millions of small businesses to keep the lights on and keep workers on the payroll. My Administration also removed historic barriers to level the playing field for businesses across rural and urban America, especially businesses owned by veterans, women and people of color. These efforts have helped millions of small businesses not only weather the pandemic but thrive.”
President Biden also spoke of rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, stating, “From local “mom and pop” shops to innovative start-ups, small businesses are pillars of our communities and the engine of our economy.”
Small businesses in America are defined as businesses that are independent and have fewer than 500 employees. Most often, these include family-owned restaurants, mom and pop shops, nail salons, spas and record stores. According to data from smallbiztrends.com, it is stated that the United States is home to 32.5 million small businesses representing 99.9% of all businesses. Some 50% of all small businesses operate from home with small businesses accounting for 44% of US economic activity. Sixty million employees constitute 48.6% of the total private workforce, and small businesses created 1.6 million new jobs in 2019. Last year saw an increase in the number of applications to start companies. The year 2021 saw 5.4 million applications, a 53% increase over 2019 pre-pandemic figures.
Some ways to support small businesses include shopping local and committing to doing one small thing for a favored small business each day. However, if funds are low or you simply cannot make it out consider sharing small business posts, writing a review and signing up for their newsletters. There are many ways to offer support for your favorite small businesses. Our communities would not be the same without them.