A sample of events for National Small Business Week
May 21, 2012 (Menafn - The Philadelphia Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Forty-nine years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation establishing a week to commemorate the contributions of U.S. small businesses. Every president since then has continued the tradition, known as National Small Business Week.
The 2012 recognition is this week, featuring a variety of events designed to trumpet and empower a group of business owners whose total size is hard to quantify.
The federal government says small businesses total more than 27 million. However, its definition of a small business includes companies with fewer than 500 employees, far larger than the mom-and-pop stores and technology start-ups more commonly thought of as small businesses.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses employ about one-half of all private-sector employees and pay 43 percent of the total U.S. private payroll. They also have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the last 17 years.
In celebration of that and to provide more support for small businesses, the following events are taking place this week:
In Washington, the SBA is hosting a weeklong conference, including forums on social-media best practices, selling to larger companies, federal contracting, and exporting. Participation is not limited to attending in person. Events will be webcast live and available free at www.NationalSmallBusinessWeek.com.
FedEx and the American Red Cross will team up Tuesday to help small businesses prepare for natural disasters. They will host a virtual roundtable at 12:30 p.m. on the one-year anniversary of the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., killing 161 and destroying or severely damaging 545 businesses.
The discussion, with input from the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, can be followed at http://facebook.com/fedex. The roundtable will be rebroadcast at the FedEx Facebook page at 6 p.m. Tuesday with at least one panelist available to answer questions.
A recent survey of 200 randomly selected small businesses found that half had not taken action to prepare for disasters. The survey also found that 51 percent had not practiced evacuations or other emergency drills, and 47 percent had not communicated employee roles in case of disaster.
In the Philadelphia region, TD Bank will mark National Small Business Week with a companywide effort to meet face-to-face with more than 1,900 small businesses to learn about their banking needs. The bank also has launched live weekly small-business chats each Friday on Twitter @TDBank_US.
Contact Diane Mastrull at 215-854-2466, email@example.com, or follow @mastrud on Twitter.
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