National Small Business Week starts today

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President Barack Obama proclaimed this week National Small Business Week.

The president’s proclamation was issued before the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 48th annual observance of National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. The event honors outstanding entrepreneurs from across the country and features the announcement of the 2011 National Small Business Person of the Year, who is selected from among 54 small-business award winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“Our country started as an idea, and it took hard-working, dedicated, and visionary patriots to make it a reality,” the president said in his proclamation. “A successful business starts much the same way — ideas realized by entrepreneurs who dream of a better world and work until they see it through. From the family businesses that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of America’s promise.”

Obama touted the Recovery Act, the Small Business Jobs Act and other initiatives launched by his administration that he says have helped small businesses.

“To support high-growth businesses, my administration has launched Startup America, an initiative that will strengthen access to capital and mentoring while reducing barriers to growth for small businesses,” he added.

“To encourage innovation, we released the Strategy for American Innovation, a report outlining my administration’s plan to harness ingenuity,” Obama said. “This means investing in the building blocks of innovation, like education and infrastructure, while promoting market-based growth through tax credits and effective intellectual property laws.

“The National Export Initiative is working to open markets to American businesses and support small exporters, who increase American competitiveness abroad and create good jobs here at home,” he added. “Through these and other initiatives we are supporting the entrepreneurs and small businesses that provide work for half of American workers and create two out of every three new jobs.”

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