How to Listen and Be Heard During National Small Business Week

small biz 800 pound gorillaMore often than not, Economics and Politics are like conjoined twins who don’t get along very well. I can hear Economics shouting at Politics, “I always feel used by you!”

However, occasionally the two come together and play nice-nice and that happens at least once a year during National Small Business Week. It’s a tradition President Kennedy started back in 1963 that every Oval Office occupant has continued.

This year the event runs from May 4-8 with the theme of “SBA: Dream Big, Start Small.” SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will highlight the week with small business events in Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio and New York City. The week winds up in Washington, D.C. where national winners will be recognized and receive their awards.

While this is an SBA-sponsored week, a variety of larger corporations climb onto the bandwagon, scheduling various events intended to benefit small business owners. Discovering events near you is not the easiest thing to do if you aren’t near one of the major cities mentioned above.

Search for events

However, if you’re even a novice social media maven and semi-schooled Googler, there is a good chance you can unearth some local gems. Hit Google first with a search like “small business week events.” That’s going to deliver results. Along with the straight web search, hit the link on the Google search results page for “News” to see if it reveals any additional insights. Try adding the name of your community or the largest city within driving distance to that search, just in case Google hasn’t already figured out your location.

I recommend searching Twitter as well. When I last checked there was @sbwem and @sbwstl for Eastern Missouri and St. Louis. Ft. Lauderdale is also represented on Twitter with @SBWFLL. If your community is doing anything to mark the week, consider establishing a Twitter account to promote your events. This might be handled by your Chamber of Commerce or other local business association.

I suspect that the hashtag #smallbusinessweek will start being used as we approach May 4. It is already appearing occasionally in the twitterverse. Head over to Twazzup to monitor the hashtag action. You may find new events, and even if there’s nothing happening in your hometown, you’ll discover corporate sponsors of National Small Business Week as well as get some business inspiration.

Rattle some cages

At the top of this, I noted the relationship between economics and politics. National Small Business Week 2015 happens at a time when lawmakers are considering a variety of bills that would impact the small business scene. Click over to Govtrack to scan this list of bills.

Perhaps the best way for you and the other small business owners in your community to celebrate this week is to take some time to personally contact your representatives in Washington, D.C. and your state capital. Also touch bases with trade associations and other commercial organizations to see if they are reflecting your needs and desires in their lobbying.

Small business is always the 800-pound gorilla in the room when politics and the economy are being discussed. However, usually this gorilla stays pretty quiet. Can’t we at least make a little noise during National Small Business Week?

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