Celebrating National Small Business Week

shutterstock_135792635This past week in St. Louis, I joined other economic developers, business executives, elected officials and members of both regional and federal SBA teams to celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week.  Registration and attendance for the St. Louis event exceeded 700 individuals. While panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities filled most of the day, SBA Administrator, Karen Mills’ on stage interview with St. Louis business executive David Stewart was clearly the highlight.  Stewart, founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, is today a $3.4B global giant.  Stewart started his business with a SBA loan, and provided great advice, feedback and council to the audience during the Q&A.

I was very privileged to join a panel of economic development specialists exchanging views on today’s ecosystem for emerging entrepreneurs.  Speaking from the perspective from my past life in news media, I encouraged the audience of small business owners to work as hard as they can to align themselves with great coaches, appropriate resources and forward  thinking communities.  I made a strong statement in support of the role start – ups and entrepreneurs will play as the USA rebuilds its national economy.

There was a tremendous spirit and loads of energy across all the breakout rooms and auditorium at historic Harris Stowe college that day.  Ideas, passion, hard work and critical thinking carried the day!

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Weekly Resource #2 – Federal Exporting Twitter Hangout

Looking for new opportunities?  Consider exporting.

In celebration of World Trade Month (May 2013),  and in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), several U.S. government agencies and organizations are joining to answer export questions for U.S. companies new to exporting or ready to expand into different markets.

Connect directly with representatives who can answer your questions via Twitter about export opportunities and solutions, export financing, and the federal resources available to help you begin or expand exporting your goods and services to international markets.

Join this Q & A for U.S. companies by adding #TradeChat and tweeting your questions during the following scheduled times or submit your questions in advance and then just follow along (see below).  Agencies will respond to as many Tweets and questions on the topic as possible.

Thursday, May 9th at 2:00pm EDT: Export Opportunities

Thursday, May 16th at 2:00pm EDT:  Financing

Thursday, May 23rd at 2:00pm EDT:  Training and Travel Opportunities

Submit your questions in advance via this online form: or simply sign into your Twitter account at the start time and use #TradeChat to participate.

Participating organizations include the following export, trade & finance related agencies across the federal government:

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency
International Trade Administration
Small Business Administration
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
epartment of State

Learn more…