Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week. The SBA was created with the mission of helping businesses start, grow, expand — or even recover in the event of a natural disaster. Our goal during the week of May 5 to 11, 2019, is to celebrate small businesses and to inspire and revitalize entrepreneurs.

The SBA’s 68 district offices across the country provide advice and support all year long, and each will sponsor special Small Business Week events designed to teach small business owners more about achieving success. Many will celebrate their state’s Small Business Person of the Year and Exporter of the Year and make other awards to notable small businesses. Their stories are inspiring.

As I visit with small business owners, one thing is clear — most of their time is spent focusing on their businesses.

Running a small business is rewarding work but requires an enormous investment of time and energy. Most small business owners and their families are dedicated to their small business dream.

Still, the most successful owners I meet take time to network and learn as a way to refocus their energy. They invite new ideas to jumpstart their imaginations.

Each of our SBA district and branch offices in Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; St. Louis; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will sponsor one or more special events during National Small Business Week. These events are designed to help entrepreneurs gain new insights into how to run a small business or start a new one.

I invite you to renew and refocus your entrepreneurial spirit by attending one of these events. You can find details online by entering your ZIP code at https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance or by calling an SBA office near you.

The SBA will also sponsor a virtual conference on a variety of business topics and a national Twitter chat about how to start and grow a business. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek and find information on these events by visiting the SBA website at www.sba.gov/nsbw.

Tom Salisbury is the regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VII, which covers Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. He previously worked as the small-business liaison for U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and in lending for UMB Bank. Salisbury can be reached at thomas.salisbury@sba.gov.

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