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Small Business Week Urges "Dream Big, Start Small"

Anyone who has put a toe in the small business “pond” will certainly attest to just how exhilarating (and maybe even a little frightening) the experience can be.

But the fact is, America’s future rides on the power of small business, which is one reason the U.S. Small Business Administration highlights small business success stories during Small Business Week, May 1 - 7.

With a theme that tells part of the story—“Dream Big, Start Small”—people like Maria Contreras-Sweet will be cheering on small business practitioners.

Contreras-Sweet knows of what she speaks. An entrepreneur who started three businesses in Los Angeles, including a community bank, before becoming Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (a Cabinet level position) in April 2014, she points out that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledges it was the nation’s small businesses that powered the recovery after the Great Recession.

Many of those “star” companies have discovered just how important it is to have employees who are engaged in the process of creating success and often reward those employees through National Gift Card programs that offer gift cards from merchants like Amazon as well as restaurant brands from the Darden Group like Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze Island Grille, Seasons 52, the Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House.

National Business Week, which has been held every year since 1963, recognizes the crucial contributions of America’s entrepreneurs, the men and women who create nearly two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S.

This year’s events begin with an awards ceremony in the nation’s capital on Monday, May 2, where Contreras-Sweet will recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions.

The rest of the week, she will be traveling across the country promoting and attending events recognizing the tremendous contributions of small businesses, women entrepreneurs, millennial entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs and veterans.