National Small Business Week – Celebrate the Boss
For nearly 60 years, the President of the United States has proclaimed National Small Business Week recognizing the vital contributions that American entrepreneurs and small business owners make to our country. SBA is proud to celebrate the people who keep the engine of our economy humming and, frankly, the people who create most of us our jobs. Small businesses employ nearly half of the people working in the six-state Great Lakes region, so it’s the only time of year when it’s safe to say, “Celebrate the boss!”
These bosses – from all walks of life, all levels of education and all walks of life – are people who make a huge difference in our communities. They fill niches we don’t know are needed, like the mother in Minnesota who opened a Spanish immersion daycare where kids can learn a second or third language while it’s even easier, or the wife of Cleveland who built a team of helpers ready to take care of the little things we might not have time to do. The small business owner is a boss who provides the services we take for granted, like the successful car retailer who bought the car wash where he served his labor sentence after his incarceration (about 75% of which is imprisoned in America for non-violent offenses). Entrepreneurship was an opportunity for him to have a second chance to not only create a job for himself, but also to create safe, non-judgmental spaces for these employees and his Indiana community. They feed us when we’re hungry, like the Wisconsin chef who created take-out boxes of fresh, local ingredients that kept the food supply chain alive during the pandemic. They sprinkle our lives with spices like the Illinois partners with their hot sauce company. And, the small business boss manages the details of the structures we build like the Detroit engineer whose diverse team oversees projects to build homes and safe buildings. These are the American bosses who support their employees and their communities. They took advantage of the resources the SBA has to offer and capitalized on their investment in the American dream. I encourage you to do the same. Because no matter who you are, where you are, or where you’re from, you too can be a boss.
It is not easy. It takes courage, determination and access to funding. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so it’s hard to find a place or someone who can help with finances. Over the past five years, only 44% of small business owners have obtained financing from a bank, and during the pandemic, 58% of small businesses have struggled to access capital set aside by the government for COVID-19 aid. In other words, about half of small business owners who need financing to grow their American Dream and our communities haven’t received the support they need. We need to change that. A top priority for the Biden-Harris administration and the SBA under Administrator Isabel Guzman is for our agency to break down historic barriers that have limited access to capital — especially for women and people of color. We are ready to level the playing field
Are you ready to be a boss and create wealth for yourself, for all the workers you employ and be a key driver of support for your community? I encourage you to go there with the help of the SBA. The theme for this year’s National Small Business Week is “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship.” At our Virtual SBA Summit at www.sba.gov May 2-5, you can learn how to access critical resources, strategize sustainable concepts with small business experts, develop one-on-one relationships, and be inspired and motivated. by bosses everywhere and everyone. walks of life. I encourage you to attend. I celebrate you. You are the boss.
About Geri Aglipay, SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay has been appointed by the White House to oversee the implementation of SBA programs, field offices, and agency operations in the region. V of the Midwestern Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota. Ohio and Wisconsin. The first Filipina American woman to be appointed to a regional post by a presidential administration, Aglipay is the principal representative of SBA Administrator Isabella. Casillas Guzman and interfaces with regional, state, and local elected and elected officials, business organizations, and small business communities in the region. SBA is the only firm-level agency dedicated solely to small businesses. With over 20 years of experience in workforce development, entrepreneurship, economic development and a deep understanding of how legislative and administrative policies affect small businesses, RA Aglipay has a track record of building coalitions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to create ecosystems. for collective impact. She advances innovation and data-driven investments for equity and economic prosperity, especially for socio-economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs. During his career, RA Aglipay has led small business interests on anti-predation lending policies; rules of the Community Reinvestment Act; and, led the creation of a toolkit on sensitive metrics to assess the impact of small business services in underserved areas, which has been adapted nationally.