April 15, 2016
This year’s National Small Business Week theme is “Dream Big, Start Small”

National Small Business Week is slated for May 1-7, 2016, and this year’s theme is “Dream Big, Start Small,” with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose and Oakland, California. Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, recognizing the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, which represent the “quintessential American ideals of hard work and ingenuity,” stated President Obama in last year’s proclamation. It is a national recognition event to celebrate the United States’ top small businesses.

“National Small Business Week is an important moment when we honor our nation’s 28 million small businesses and renew our commitment to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that is central to small business success,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, who will start the week in Washington, D.C., where she will recognize and award outstanding small business owners from around the country.

National Small Business Week also recognizes the big impact small businesses, widely considered the “backbone of our economy,” have on the nation. Small Business Week is a time to acknowledge the more than 50 percent of Americans who either work for or own a small business, and who create approximately two out of every three new jobs in the country each year. These people are the bedrock of their communities, from creating jobs and stimulating local economies to supporting local charities and participating in civic events. Small businesses are also synonymous with business ethics and giving back to others.

One such small business owner who exemplifies the spirit of giving is insurance agent Brandon Shreves, of State Farm. Brandon collected more than 2,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing. Furthermore, he personally delivered approximately 3,500 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls headquarters in Nashville, TN, a journey of more than 1,000 miles from his home in Mobile, AL.

Another person who has set the small business bar high is Florida attorney and Colombia native Carlos Sandoval, who not only came to America and started his own boutique law firm focusing on immigration and naturalization law but volunteers his time to educate immigrants on how to become U.S. citizens. Carlos’ civic-mindedness is what led to him volunteering his services for Hispanic Unity of Florida, whose goal is to empower a new generation of Americans, some of whom will inevitably become small business owners themselves that have dreamed big and started small.

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