And the winners are…

President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the first Small Business Week in 1963.

Each year since, a week in spring has been designated National Small Business Week to recognize the outstanding contributions small businesses make to our local and national economies. This year, Small Business Week will be celebrated May 5 to May 11. The theme is “Small Business: Where America Works.”

Each year, the SBA Columbus District Office and the other 69 district offices around the country solicit nominations for the best small business owners, as well as for small business advocates and special award categories. From the district winners, state winners are selected in each category.

State winners are then judged to determine national winners. Each state Small Business Person of the Year, national advocate and special award winner will be invited to Washington, D.C., the week of May 5 to be honored at the Capitol and, if the president’s schedule permits, at the White House.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the SBA, it is gratifying to know it has had a substantial impact in the development and growth of small businesses throughout the country. As we honor our local Small Business Week award winners, we should remember the major impact small businesses have had on our lives. Air conditioning, personal computers and optical scanners are just a few examples of small business innovations that have changed our lives and the world. Small business is the lifeblood of innovation and the economic vitality of this country.

We are here to honor individuals who represent the best of the best in small business and those who help small businesses succeed. Congratulations to our winners, and we wish them the best of luck in the national competition.
Kenneth C. Klein is acting district director, Columbus District Office, Small Business Administration.