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Small Business Week celebrates nation's 32.5 million small businesses

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Small Business Week celebrates nation's 32.5 million small businesses

SBA Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay speaks at a recent Financial Literacy Month event in Gary.

The first week of May is traditionally Small Business Week, celebrating the nation's 32.5 million small businesses and their contributions to the economy.

Indiana is recognizing the week of May 1-7 as Small Business Week to recognize the 529,000 small businesses statewide. Small businesses employ an estimated 1.2 million people in the Hoosier State.

"This week, we recognize all the small businesses driving our state’s economy forward," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said. "Indiana is laser-focused on fostering a healthy ecosystem for small businesses, startups and businesses looking to expand their footprint. It is the entrepreneurial drive, determination and grit that has become woven into the Hoosier spirit and vital to the great quality of life we enjoy in Indiana.”

Indiana is recognizing eight businesses that worked with the Indiana Small Business Development Center to start, expand or reposition their ventures. Rockablock in Merrillville will be honored as Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year. Rockland Page founded the lifestyle brand that sells T-shirts, other apparel and accessories.

The SBA estimates that 99.7% of U.S. employers are small businesses, which account for 64% of new private sector jobs, 49.2% of private sector employment, 42.9% of private sector payroll, 46% of private sector output and 43% of high-tech employment. They also account for 98% of firms exporting goods and 33% of exporting value.

Entrepreneurship has reached record highs in recent years largely because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Thanks to the resilience of the American people, America’s entrepreneurial spirit has never been stronger," President Joe Biden said in a proclamation declaring it Small Business Week. "New business applications grew by more than 30 percent over the course of the pandemic, with almost 5.4 million new applications in 2021 alone. More Americans than ever before — including more women and people of color — are following their dreams and starting new enterprises. My administration will continue to support them, build upon this remarkable resurgence, and strengthen the foundation of our economy with America’s small businesses at the forefront."

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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