Small Businesses and their Mighty Impact
I’m excited to share that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will celebrate PA Small Business Week from April 30 – May 6, 2017. Aligning with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) National Small Business Week, the department will highlight Pennsylvania’s small-but-mighty economic drivers, as well as the networks and resources available to support them. DCED will coordinate with partners on outreach, events, and trainings to showcase the impact of small business across our state and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit found in Pennsylvania’s communities.
On a statewide level, Pennsylvania has nearly 1 million small businesses that employ 2.5 million individuals – that is almost half of our private workforce.
Small businesses contribute to the strength of our local communities and economies, but many may not realize the collective influence they have on Pennsylvania as a whole. On a statewide level, Pennsylvania has nearly 1 million small businesses that employ 2.5 million individuals – that is almost half of our private workforce. Following the standards used by the SBA, 99.6 percent of all employers in the state qualify as small businesses.
We are proud of both our industry diversity and the diversity of our entrepreneurs. The 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that in Pennsylvania 9.9 percent of veterans, 5.3 percent of women, and 5.2 percent of minorities are self-employed.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs truly are in every corner of our state. In Bethlehem, a Lehigh University graduate is creating do-it-yourself paintball kits which teach children about chemistry ; in Bedford County, a manufacturer is serving as a supplier for the U.S. military; and in Pittsburgh, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate is using technology to teach students about robotics.
As community and economic developers, we must provide support and resources to sustain our small businesses like these, and help our would-be entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. PA Small Business Week is a great way to achieve this.
During PA Small Business Week, DCED will host a Small Business Web Series – free webinars for current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Each webinar will be presented by business experts, and you can register for the following webinars below:
- Monday, May 1 at 12:00 PM – Resources for Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses, presented by Betsy Lockwood, SEDA-COG
- Tuesday, May 2 at 12:00 PM – Registering a Business in Pennsylvania, presented by PA Departments of State, Revenue, and Labor & Industry
- Wednesday, May 3 at 12:00 PM – Government Procurement & Diverse Business Certification, presented by PA Department of General Services
- Thursday, May 4 at 12:00 PM – Raising Capital in Pennsylvania, presented by PA Department of Banking and Securities
- Friday, May 5 at 12:00 PM – Entrepreneur Stories of Small Business Success, presented by President of Exact Match Masonry Staining Jennifer Gill, President of Magnum Group Vivian Isaak and Founder and President of Bella Lucia Maryann Petta Cook
To learn more about these webinars and all of the other events, trainings, and activities happening during PA Small Business Week, I encourage you to visit PA Small Business website. See what DCED and our partners are doing from April 30 – May 6 and how you can get involved.
Remember to follow along with our agency Twitter and LinkedIn channels using the hashtag #PASmallBiz17 to see the latest small business events, resources, and success stories. To stay up-to-date on other small business news around that state, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
Neil Weaver has two decades of experience in non-profit and government management, operations, and communications. During his career, Neil has served in executive management at both the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Protection. In his current role as Acting Secretary at DCED, Neil functions as the chief executive of an agency that is responsible for administering grants, loans and tax credits that spur economic growth, community revitalization, and job creation throughout the state by providing strategic technical assistance, training, and financial resources to help our communities and industries flourish.