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Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates the hard work, gumption and can-do spirit of founders and entrepreneurs by promoting Small Business Week. This year, Small Business Week opens on May 5, and runs through May 11.

Whether you own and operate an established company or are dipping your feet into the world of entrepreneurship for the first time, celebrating Small Business Week with your team members and your community is a great way to help you plug into both your local customer base and network of fellow business owners.

Making the most of Small Business Week

There’s no shortage of ways to participate in Small Business Week, regardless of whether you’re responsible for an already-thriving company or are still in the process of planning your entrepreneurial debut. Here are some of the ways to leverage this opportunity to grow your network, enliven your customer base and develop your skills:

  • Attend a virtual conference: The SBA is hosting a free two-day virtual conference providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with expert advice. Registration is open to the public, and you’re free to participate as much or as little as you like. You can connect with industry leaders and other small business owners throughout the nation.
  • Offer special sales: Small Business Week also presents you with the perfect time to share just how much you value your loyal customer base. Loyal, local customers are the backbone of most small businesses. Show your appreciation by offering sales and specials. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, Small Business Week could be a great time to rollout that loyalty program you’ve been mulling.
  • Partner with other small businesses: Collaboration is key to the success of companies of all sizes. Consider ways to partner with other small businesses in your community during the coming year. Whether you end up hosting a joint event or stocking some of their products in your retail store, actively work to build a sense of cooperation and togetherness with your fellow entrepreneurs.

Regardless of the way you choose to celebrate Small Business Week, it’s important you take advantage of this exciting opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customer base and your local entrepreneurship community.