It’s National Small Business Week (NSBW) 2020, unlike any the United States has experienced before. With the coronavirus pandemic still active and a devastating economic downturn, recognizing and supporting small business owners is more important than ever. Here’s information on this week that recognizes and supports entrepreneurs across America.
What is National Small Business Week?
Every year since 1963, SBA has highlighted the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and other small-business supporters from across the nation through National Small Business Week. The week includes awards for small businesses and presentations to help entrepreneurs succeed. Need some inspiration for motivation? Check out quotes from business owners we’ve worked with here: National Small Business Week: Quotes from Successful Small Business Owners.
When is National Small Business Week?
Originally slated for May 3- May 9, the SBA has rescheduled this year to create a week of “recovery, adaptation, and innovation” from September 22 – September 24, 2020.
Where can I learn about National Small Business Week activities?
Follow the SBA on Twitter or on Facebook to get updates. National Small Business Week events and information will be shared on social media using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek. SmartBiz Loans will be posting useful information and ideas across our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Have questions about NSBW? You can contact the SBA directly via email.
National Small Business Week event schedule
There’s an abbreviated schedule for this year but the SBA is committed to providing valuable information through a virtual conference. Here are events you can join online:
- Pride in America’s Small Businesses
When: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m. (Eastern)
Includes: A keynote address from SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and presentation of the 2020 National Small Business Week Awards
- Preparing for a Strong Tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation
When: Wednesday, Sept. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. (Eastern)
Includes: On Wednesday, a panel discussion titled “America’s Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate” plus mid-day virtual sessions on the SBA’s Veteran Resources and videos featuring stories of veteran-owned business success. Thursday’s panels discuss the business landscape today as well as federal and local resources available to small businesses.
Register on the official SBA website.
Make the most of NSBW 2020
Take advantage of this week to spark business growth and stability strategies. Here are ways to make the most of NSBW 2020:
Contact your local chamber of commerce or SCORE office
Ask what events they have planned for Small Business Week and how you can get your small business involved. These organizations support small business owners throughout the year so be sure to stay connected
Send a special edition email or newsletter to customers
Let your customers know you’re participating in this week and highlight any specials or promotions you are offering. Review new marketing ideas in light of the pandemic. Our article, Email Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners, can help spark ideas.
Join a networking group
Visit BNI.com, your local SCORE chapter, the Chamber of Commerce, MeetUp.com to explore opportunities within the small business community. It’s even more important than ever to connect with other entrepreneurs and share information about riding out the current economic issues small businesses are facing today.
Create a long lead marketing campaign
Take advantage of the boost your business can get from Small Business Week and use it to kick off a longer campaign to bring customers back. Our targeted article can help: Small Business Marketing Strategies During COVID-19.
Partner with another small business
Is there a small business that compliments your product or service? Consider partnering with them to offer special deals or discounts. Cross promotions with other small businesses can increase sales and can help you save marketing dollars by splitting costs.
Explore your customer demographic and find similar businesses that aren’t your competitors. For example, a bakery might pair with a hair salon, a tree trimming business with a landscaper, a realtor with an interior decorator. Visit the SmartBiz Small Business Blog for lots of ideas about sharing promotions and partnering with another small business: Cross-Promotion and Your Small Business: Ideas for Success and How To Set Up Business Partnerships for Success.
Put some money behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn ads once you’ve determined where your customers are. With the pandemic, more people than ever are online looking for products or services. Test out a few different ads against each other to see how they are performing. Make sure to use great images to attract more eyeballs. For social media best practices and creative ideas review Social Media Tips for Small Business.
Thank your employees
These are trying times and your employees are probably experiencing anxiety about the coronavirus, economy, and business operations.
Showing appreciation goes a long way with your small business employees and can help ease the strain. Celebrating with a special lunch or event might not be possible now. But you can give out gift cards, bestow special recognition on a hard-working employee, or host a virtual happy hour. Happy employees equal happy customers. Check out suggestions for employee management during times of stress on the SmartBiz Small Business Blog:
- Stressed Employees? 6 Tips to Help Lighten the Burden – Easy-to-implement tips like investing in stress toys and encouraging open-door policies are covered.
- 7 Ways to Help Employees Continue Working Remotely – Working from home might be a new experience for you and your employees. Make the transition easier with flexibility, updated technology, and more.
- 5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe During COVID-19 – Shore up your safety operations to avoid any exposure to the coronavirus.
Support other small businesses
You won’t have to look far to find a small business. From the corner flower shop to an Etsy store, find a way to spend some of your hard earned dollars helping another entrepreneur.
Spring clean the office
Take a look around – do you see lots of clutter in your workspace either on site or at home? Don’t let an untidy office hamper your creativity and productivity. Clean up, buy new office supplies, consider fresh paint or new plants. Here are spring cleaning tips you can consider: Spring Clean Your Small Business.
Consider additional financing
The holidays are just two short months away! If your sales are picking up, consider getting additional funding to help with working capital, marketing, holiday cash flow, staffing, inventory, and more.
Visit SmartBiz today and discover in about five minutes if you’re qualified for an SBA loan with no impact on your credit scores.*
*We conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, in processing your loan application, the lenders with whom we work will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is likely to fund your loan.