It’s Small Business Week, Everyone! (And the crowd goes wild)

So, where’s my ticker tape parade? “What,” you say, you hadn’t heard that May 20-26 is our week to be celebrated? Well, it is. There’s even a Presidential Proclamation declaring this National Small Business Week. So, get that confetti ready and start inflating the floats.

And, what fabulous laudatory fetes has the Small Business Administration cooked up in response to all the White House hoopla? Well, if you feel like going to DC you could attend a two and a half day conference “focusing on small business accomplishments…” If you can’t make the trek to the nation’s capital, you can tune in to the live Webcasts—I kid you not— so you don’t miss one moment of the gripping “disaster recovery, procurement and entrepreneurial success” promoted in the agenda. Weird that an awful lot of the conference sponsors are big corporations like Microsoft and Northrop Grumman. Can’t imagine why that is.

“What about something more local?” you ask. Well, here in New York, where Mayor Bloomberg is proud of touting how he has made the city the most attractive place to launch a small business in this age of entrepreneurship, there’s, strangely, not too much going on—not even one little thing from his Small Business Services Department.

Here’s what we’ve got:

  • Thursday from 1:00-5:00 SCORE is sponsoring an event entitled: Developing and Implementing Your Marketing Strategy; it’ll run you $59 in advance and $69 at the door, including lunch. Why not hold the lunch and charge a nominal fee instead—it is Small Business Week, after all?  But, what I find really strange is that this the only “special” program SCORE is offering this week. I mean, come on, SCORE is only about supporting small businesses; it’s the reason it exists. Not taking advantage of Small Business Week to offer special programs that encourage and celebrate small business development, well, it’s like if Hallmark decided it just didn’t feel like printing any Mother’s Day cards one May—it just doesn’t make any sense.
  • Also on Thursday, from 5:00pm-8:30pm Constant Contact is presenting Get Down to Business at NYIT Auditorium while also promoting CEO Gail Goodman’s new book Engagement Marketing—there’s no cost, but space is limited. The session covers Engagement Marketing and FLiFF (Follow, Like, Friend, Fan). Considering that Constant Contact is in the e-marketing business, this is hardly a gesture of good will. It’s actually one of many, many similar events taking place across the country to drive new and ongoing business. But, hey, at least they’re trying.

That’s it folks—that’s all I could find.

Now, it’s all well and good to say that small businesses are “the backbone of our economy” and they’re “the engines that fuel innovation,” but if you’re not actually going to do anything for small businesses that matter and make a difference to them, all you’re really doing is what you’ve always done—talked a good game, while protecting big corporate interests.

As far as I’m concerned you can keep your week, how about in exchange you actually pass legislation that gives small businesses some real tax breaks like the big corporations get. In New York State, how about you stop penalizing LLCs with outlandish publication requirements—what’s the point of that, anyway? How about in New York City you get rid of the ridiculous MTA tax?

It’s time—in fact, the time is long overdue—to stop nickel-and-diming small business owners for the singular privilege of being, as President Obama put it in his Small Business Week 2012 proclamation, “pioneers who think big, take risks, and work hard.” The contributions we have made and continue to make to this country are significant and very real, and it’s time that more than a nice speech and some silly conference “of appreciation” came our way.

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Posted in Communication Strategy, Marketing, Sales Strategy, Small Business

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