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The History Behind Celebrating Small Business Week

Thank you for shopping local sign
Casey Shull

There are a lot of holidays that we celebrate in the United States, and most of them make some impact for business owners. Whether it’s an electrician performing maintenance on a fuse box to keep the holiday lights on or a dentist performing a check-up right after Halloween, none make the biggest impact quite like Small Business Week happening this year from May 1st through the 5th. 

For more than fifty years, we’ve been celebrating National Small Business Week and supporting local businesses throughout the month of May, giving us a chance to honor and support the small business movement that is the backbone of the American dream and the entrepreneurs behind it. Small businesses make up over thirty million of the businesses in the U.S. and are major contributors to the local and national economies.

It was their contribution that was on President John F. Kennedy’s mind when he enacted a proclamation to celebrate small businesses every year on the first week of May. The year was 1963.


As they say, the rest was history

As America entered the Countercultural decade, farm fields were giving way to an industrial society, the now famous golden arches were sprouting up along highways, and unemployment was still a major concern for the country when John F. Kennedy was elected president with the slogan, “Getting American Moving Again.”

Working through strained situations such as the Big Steel price crises, tax cuts, and the 1950 recession, President Kennedy saw a need to celebrate those who have brought millions of jobs to their local communities and commemorate the work these entrepreneurs have done and continue to do. Paired with the mission of the Small Business Administration (SBA) created in 1953 by the Federal Government, the celebration of National Small Business Week was inaugurated and is now a national recognition event.

With the support of SBA continuing to encourage and assist new entrepreneurs, Small Business Week is celebrated as a way to

  • Increase economic growth
  • Broaden small business outreach
  • Celebrate the resilience of small businesses

Nowadays, the spirit of Small Business Week remains strong, with younger generations’ preference to shop local, social media trends of supporting small businesses, and events, lectures, and summits hosted by the SBA in Washington D.C.—where they honor top entrepreneurs each year. From SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, “We are on a path toward building a better, more competitive American economy centered around families, workers, and small businesses.”

How to grow your small business

Ready to take your small business from an idea to fruition? Keep in mind there are a lot of resources available to you. The SBA site provides resources for funding programs, learning platforms, and business topics. When you’re ready to grow your business, remember these five tips.

Create a strong online presence

In order to reach the right customers, it’s vital you have a strong online presence, including a business website, social media platforms, online reviews, and content resources.

Customer satisfaction is a must

You’ve heard the saying, ‘a happy worker works harder’, but remember, a happy customer returns for more business. Having a loyal customer base is what’s going to help promote your business growth.

Develop a marketing strategy

A marketing plan that aligns with your business goals and target audience will take you to the next level. If you’re unsure how or where to begin, Scorpion’s team of marketing experts are ready to partner with you to help you run your best business.

Create a brand that compliments your mission

Aside from being the look of your business, your brand, and mission should be very clear to your customers. Studies have shown that younger customers want to support small businesses that have a strong mission and values.

It’s never too late to start or nurture your own small business. If your small business isn’t where you want it to be, remember there are tools and resources available to you. As President Kennedy said, “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” As a company that supports small businesses, we at Scorpion celebrate you this week and for all the weeks to come.

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