The Small Business Administration held a National Small Business Week Virtual Summit from September 13-15, 2021, to honor the nation’s 32.5 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity.
Small businesses continue to ungird the U.S. economy and the National Small Business Virtual Summit gave these resilient entrepreneurs informational tools via educational panels. These panels taught them the best business practices to assist them as they pivot from traditional ways of operating and learn to function and recover through a global pandemic.
This year’s theme, “Celebrating Resilience and Renewal”, put a bright light on the nation’s small businesses as they build back better from the tailspin brought on by the pandemic. The summit brought together industry experts and business owners to provide advice and a platform where new strategies could be learned. These business owners became aware of how others were able to adjust their business model to stay afloat and often recover from severe loss of revenue and the reduction in staff during last year.
The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit was a free, open-to-the-public, three-day event that anyone who wanted to attend could sign into and take advantage of the information that was being presented. The entire event was streamed live using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek. The SBA reported that the three-day virtual summit included:
Monday, September 13, 11 a.m. EDT – “Getting Back on Track: Resources to Build Back Better”
The day’s events included:
• National Small Business Week Welcome – SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman
• Morning Session – Visa US Economic Outlook: Charting a Course for the Expansion
• Mid-day Sessions – Getting Real about Resilience, Make Your Small Business More Accessible, and Winning in E-commerce with Email Marketing
• Late-day Session – Government Incentives to Support and Retain Employees
Tuesday, September 14, 11 a.m. EDT – “Better Serving Small Businesses and Underserved Communities”
The day’s events included:
• Morning Sessions – Access to Capital for Women Entrepreneurs and U.S. Postal Service: Delivering Solutions for Small Businesses
• Mid-day Sessions – Unlocking the Doors to Access for Black-Owned Businesses: Funders and Founders Share their Real-Life Stories and Resilience and the Recovery: How Small Businesses Can Adapt to the Trends Transforming the Workforce
• Late-day Session – Support Latino Biz: How mayors and influencers are leading the way to celebrate the significant economic contributions that Latino-owned businesses make, the jobs they help create, and the positive impact they bring to our community.
Wednesday, September 15, 11 a.m. EDT – “Continuance to Support Resilience and Renewal”
The day’s events included:
• Morning Session – Recovery Lessons from the Nation’s Entrepreneurial Coaching Networks
• Panel Discussion – Exporting As Way to Grow Your Business: How SBA Can Help You Sell Overseas
• Mid-day Sessions – Accelerate Your Small Business Success by Selling Online and Integrating Brick and Mortar and E-commerce
• Late-day Session – Empowering the Veteran and Military Small Business Community
• Closing Session – Gateway to Success: Tune in to get a virtual look at the nationwide resources SBA field offices offer to help small businesses start, grow, expand, recover, and how to get connected to the powerful network of small business entrepreneurs right in your community.
Janita Stewart, acting SBA South East Regional Administrator, said, “The virtual summit was recorded and interested persons could access the entire three-day event by visiting www.sba.gov/NSBW and for anyone who does not have internet access they can login afterwards at local libraries even if they don’t attend the live stream event.”
Additionally, Stewart said, “The SBA offers weekly webinars, seminars, and automatically generated emails for business owners and persons who are interested in going into business. Since the pandemic hit, our outreach has grown exponentially as people wanted to find new marketing methods, how to attract new customers, and access the SBA networks. Our SBA Women Business Centers in Mississippi at the HBCUs on the Jackson State University and Alcorn State University campuses/satellites have proven to be very beneficial to women all over the state. Small business recovery in Mississippi has been a lifeline to the state’s economy.”
The Small Business Person of the Year in Mississippi for 2020 was Vera Hall, owner of Innovative Performance Construction Company, LLC (SBA Certified, 8(a), HUBZone, EDWOSB, WOSB, CAGE, 6XB8) with headquarters at 13370 Hwy 61 North, Fayette, MS 39069, and a satellite office at 4576 Hwy 80 West, Jackson, MS 39209 (601-397-6941).
In a recent interview, Hall said, “Innovative Performance Construction (IPC) is a Certified Minority Woman-Owned business that increases its reputation with each project by consistently providing high quality results. I pay attention to the details of safety, maintaining schedules and bringing completed projects in on budget.
“IPC services include general construction, heavy/civil construction to security, and facilities management. Specialty work projects include commercial and institutional building construction and large infrastructure.
“As a woman-owned business, my mission is to exceed expectations on every project so that contract deliverables are met in every aspect from start to completion. At present, I have become very comfortable with federal contracts because of the efficiency that technology has enhanced the entire process with regard to step-by-step project documentation on both ends of the spectrum and efficiency of payments. The SBA has been instrumental in helping me grow every aspect of my business with their expertise and guidance.”
The US Small Business Administration office is located at 210 E. Capitol St., Ste. 900, in Jackson, Mississippi. Visit www.sba.gov/ms to obtain information regarding services.