National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small-business owners, recognizing that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. They create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year, drive innovation and increase American's competitiveness, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA has been highlighting the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small-business owners and others from across the nation who support and assist small businesses through National Small Business Week since 1963.
National Small Business week is May 12-16, and we have a host of activities to celebrate this momentous event.
Starting early and just in time for Mother's Day, artist and entrepreneur Sherri Reeve is hosting the Maui Chamber of Commerce's May Business After Hours on Wednesday at her gallery in Makawao. She is offering a special discount that evening to all chamber members and invited guests.
Then, on Friday, the Maui Chamber of Commerce and Central Pacific Bank will hold the chamber's annual Economic Update and Maui SBA Awards program. The economic update will be presented by Carl Bonham, Ph.D, of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. He will be sharing where Maui businesses are at in this two-tiered recovery and what lies ahead. Jane Sawyer of the SBA will share information about the SBA Award program and join us in honoring this year's Maui SBA Award winners.
May 12, kicks off National Small Business Week, and we are celebrating by encouraging businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in a series of free webinars being offered by the SBA. Find all events and register online at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek. Here are a few of the offerings:
* Smart Small Business Travel: Strategic Ways to Increase Your Return on Travel, 10-11 a.m.
* Growing Your Business with Direct Mail, noon-1 p.m.
* Small Business: Big Benefits, 10-11 a.m.
* For the early risers: Conduit Mobile Summit, National Small Business Week, SBA Sponsored Panel - Learn how you can better take advantage of the technology already at your fingertips to transform your mobile and digital experience and grow your small business's bottom line, 3-4 a.m.
* Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World: 10 Tips to Create A Killer Customer Loyalty Program 9-10 a.m.
* Practical Marketing - A Five-Step Marketing Program for Small Biz, 9-10 a.m.
On May 15-16, the SBA's Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will be formally recognized in Washington, D.C., with one of them selected as the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year.
As National Small Business week is wrapped up in Washington, the Maui Chamber is culminating its week with networking and fun at the 2014 Maui Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament and Awards Luncheon at The Dunes at Maui Lani.
All businesspeople are invited to attend this annual business-building event on the greens. You do not have to be a Maui Chamber member to participate.
Golf is $200 per player and sponsorships are available. Join us for a great day of golf and a spectacular luncheon at Cafe O'Lei at the Dunes, with prizes, live and silent auctions, entertainment and more.
For additional details or to participate in these activities, please contact the Maui Chamber of Commerce at 244-0081.
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.