National Small Business Day celebrated on May 10. Today, we celebrate the self-employed and those with startups. We appreciate the individuals with big ideas and the drive to make them come true. The United States has always thrived on the idea of entrepreneurship. It’s the land of dreams and opportunity, where anything’s possible. The pursuit of aspirations has taken different forms throughout history. But none have been quite as inspiring as America’s small businesses run by individuals with true grit and heart who willed themselves to succeed. Their stories are encouraging because they represent what all of us could achieve. For over 50 years the U.S. Small Business Administration has also celebrated National Small Business Week.
History of National Small Business Day
Small businesses have been the heart of life and economy in the U.S. since the first settlers arrived. The idea of a self-made man emerged during this time when virtuous was the pioneer who built a home and life for his family despite the odds. Many colonists during this period lived on small farms in far-flung rural areas. With only the wilderness and their farms for sustenance, families had no choice but to be self-sufficient. Many people also made essential items at home.
Since the country was still very young, all businesses were small-scale. Trading in crops and services helped the economy go ‘round. However, the transportation of goods from one point to another took ages. There were also no machines since automation didn’t exist yet and banks, as we know them today, had not been established. Fast forward to the 1800s, and a new America was born. It marked the era of large-scale economic activity and manufacturing. The number of affluent Americans increased, as did the demand for goods. Modern corporations that employed thousands of workers fuelled this booming economy. In this environment, small businesses had trouble keeping up.
The story came full circle in the 20th century when large corporations faced stiff competition from businesses based overseas. America’s small businesses rose to the occasion during this period. As small businesses thrived, so did America’s economy. Many more people began to take an interest in entrepreneurship. Turning an idea into a business was no longer a dream but a viable possibility. Start-ups were born, and venture capital financing took the world by storm.
Today, the U.S. has over 32.5 million small businesses — from mom-and-pop stores to establishments providing jobs to entire towns. America would not be the same without its small businesses.
National Small Business Day timeline
Families living on small farms in rural America produce their own goods, from food and clothing to soap.
The federal government creates the Small Business Administration to protect the interests of small businesses in the country.
The phenomenal success of small businesses makes entrepreneurship popular.
Silicon Valley becomes the center of technology and start-ups in the country.
National Small Business Day FAQs
Is there a National Small Business Month?
May is Small Business Month in the U.S.
When did Small Business Saturday start?
Small Business Saturday was born in 2011. The day was funded by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration in 2011. Since then, the day has become an important part of the shopping season in the US.
What is Black Business Month?
National Black Business Month is every year in August. It’s a designated month to support and celebrate Black-owned businesses across the country.
National Small Business Day Activities
Support small businesses
Visit a favorite local business today. Show some love by buying or highlighting their work on social media.
Do you need groceries, flowers, or a new dress? Choose to buy from a small business today and every other day.
Start a small business
Toyed with the idea of having your own business? Draft that plan. Make the call. No better day than today to take action.
5 Facts About Startups That Will Blow Your Mind
Most startups begin small
Even tech giants like Facebook had humble beginnings — inside a dormitory, actually.
Beyond tech startups
Any company is a startup if it solves a problem without an obvious solution and has no guarantee of success.
Vision over college degrees
Most startup founders such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell are school dropouts.
50% fail to launch
Most startups will fail within the first five years.
Sometimes, crazy works
Rent The Chicken (portable chicken coops) and Freight Farms (shipping container farms) are examples of unconventional ideas that worked.
New CEOs in town
The number of businesses owned by African-American women has grown 322% since 1997.
Why We Love National Small Business Day
It’s uplifting and inspiring
These are homegrown businesses with heart. The success of a small business provides livelihoods and supports entire communities.
It provides dignity
A small business provides access to high-quality jobs near your place of residence. You don’t need to relocate and have to spend money on rent because you’re so far away from home.
A celebration of entrepreneurship
We’re always in awe of gritty entrepreneurs. The ones who persevere and build something incredible from scratch.
National Small Business Day dates