Over the last 50 years, National Small Business Week has recognized the contributions that small business owners have made to their communities. 

It brings attention to the hard-working entrepreneurs who’ve not only started their own businesses but have overcome the challenges that come with maintaining them. 

In this post, we’ll explain what National Small Business Week is and why it’s important. We’ll also tell you when it takes place and how you can use it to promote your company.

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How-to Guide: 4 Ways to Run an Efficient Small Business


What is National Small Business Week? 

National Small Business Week highlights contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners each year. It’s organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is typically held between April and May.   

National Small Business Week dates back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy wanted to honor top entrepreneurs in each state. Since then, the SBA has hosted this event to celebrate the same individuals and to bring awareness to the contributions that small businesses made that year. 

Throughout the week, entrepreneurs and business owners are recognized for their outstanding performance. The SBA highlights the milestones that they’ve achieved, and there are conferences, award ceremonies, and networking events that celebrate these individuals as well as their companies. 

Here’s a highlight reel from last year’s event in Washington D.C.:

When is National Small Business Week? 

This year, National Small Business Week is from April 28th to May 4th, 2024.  

The SBA is also hosting a free online summit that will take place from April 30th to May 1st (more on this later). 

As a small business owner, you can use this week to promote your company and drive some additional in-person and online sales. Read on for a list of marketing ideas in the section below. 

The Guide to Running an Efficient Small Business

The Guide to Running an Efficient Small Business

Eliminate time-wasting tasks and get back to business.

How to Celebrate National Small Business Week 

National Small Business Week is the perfect time to highlight your organization. Here are a few ways to get the word out about your business during this week.

1. Attend a virtual summit or conference.

Your business doesn’t have to win an award to be a part of National Small Business Week. The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit is free and encourages entrepreneurs and small business owners to attend. These events are great for networking and can help you learn how other small business owners are overcoming challenges in their industries.

2. Share your business’s story on social media.

When it comes to spreading the word about your business, social media is a great place to start. Tell your followers how you started your company and what it’s like to be a small business owner.   

Don’t forget to include a hashtag like #smallbusinessweek or #smallbusiness. Hashtags aren’t just used for style points. They’re searchable on social media, making your post easier to find when someone searches for the term “small business week.”  

Here’s an example from a bakery in Ontario: 

instagram - national small business week example

3. Partner with another small business in your area.

Most small business owners have met other business owners in their area. They might be in the same industry as you or just neighbors who share a leasing space.  

If you aren’t direct competitors, consider partnering with these businesses on a co-marketing campaign. Post about them on social media, refer your customers to their locations, co-host an event, or swap coupons, if available, so you can hand them out at each other’s businesses. 

Or, you can think outside the box. For example, since Highpoint Cidery doesn’t sell food, it partners with a local pizza restaurant during its trivia nights so customers can order something to eat without leaving. People then end up buying a lot more cider, because they don’t have to go somewhere else to get food. It’s a win-win for both the cidery and the restaurant because they’re selling different products to the same customers.

4. Offer sales and discounts.

One way to bring in sales during National Small Business Week is to offer a discount. Not only does this get the word out about your business, but it shows customers that you appreciate them as well. It’s like a reward for shopping locally over a big-box brand. 

If you share a leasing space with another business, ask if they’d be willing to swap coupons or discount vouchers. Whenever someone buys something at your business, share a discount at your neighbor’s (and vice-versa). This improves your relationship with other businesses while simultaneously promoting your own company.

5. Host a community event.

Events are handy for small business owners. You can use them to attract customers, close deals, network with new people, or just have fun doing something you enjoy.  

For National Small Business Week, consider hosting an event or sponsoring one in your area. Here’s an example where three businesses joined forces to host an event for women in their community.