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What is National Small Business Week?

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In 1963, President John F. Kennedy announced the first-ever National Small Business Week.

National Small Business Week – which has been declared by every U.S. president for 53 consecutive years – recognizes the important contributions made by America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners through a number of events across the country. This year’s celebration is scheduled to take place all of next week, May 1 through May 7.

Here are three things you should know about U.S. small businesses ahead of National Small Business Week.

1. Small business is the nation’s leading employer.

According to the most recent statistics from the Small Business Administration (SBA), there were 28.2 million small businesses – independent businesses with 500 employees or less – in the United States in 2011. Small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the U.S. working population and make up a staggering 99.7 percent of the nation's employer firms. 

2. They drive job creation.

Between 1993 and 2013, the SBA estimates that small businesses accounted for approximately two-thirds of all new net jobs created in the United States, 14.9 million in total. Small firms between 20-499 employees led job creation during that time period.

3. Energy is a major expense for small businesses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program – ENERGY STAR – estimates that U.S. small businesses collectively spend $60 billion on energy each year. A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also found that energy costs are a top-three business expense for more than one-third of the nation’s small businesses.

However, small businesses also possess significant savings potential. Depending on the building and business type, small businesses could reduce their energy costs 10-30 percent through small efficiency upgrades and simple behavioral adjustments— and, most importantly, without sacrificing service or comfort.

To help unlock energy savings, it’s important for small businesses to have a range of energy options, whether it’s fixed electricity rates that help protect them from seasonal price spikes or innovative technology like the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat.

If you’re a small business owner looking for ways to save on your energy use, please visit our Small Business page. You can also learn more about National Small Business Week on SBA’s website.

Posted: April 24, 2016