Small Business Week kicks off Monday

Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week, which recognizes small businesses’ contributions to the country’s economic well-being. This year, National Small Business Week takes place May 16-20 and two state organizations are hosting events that coincide with it.

On Monday, The Ohio Department of Development’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division is hosting a seminar titled “How to Start a Business as a Restored Citizen.” It is designed for ex-offenders and people with felonious records who want to start their own business.

“We are continually trying to make Ohio more business-friendly for all of our business owners,” says Karen Shauri, state director of the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio. “Providing Ohioans with the tools and resources they need is the first step to building a strong entrepreneurial foundation and a solid business portfolio.”

During the workshop, representatives from the SBDCs of Ohio, the Minority Business Assistance Program, Capital Law University, Telhio Credit Union, Artsafe, and professional business owners will give overviews of small business programs and services available to assist entrepreneurs and business owners in all stages of a company’s development.

The workshop will also feature information on establishing and operating a business, funding opportunities, computer technology, and marketing options.

There is no charge to attend and the event is open to the public. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Transportation, located at 1980 W. Broad St. in Columbus.

For more information or to register, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/WorkshopsRSVP/ or call 800- 848-1300 extension 4-8025. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

On Friday, the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State Community College is hosting the fourth annual Ohio Entrepreneurship Expo.

“The Expo is a great opportunity −in one day, one place− to learn what is needed to build a successful business in the state of Ohio,” says Tonya Wilson, program manager at the Ohio SBDC at CSCC. “The expo provides access to valuable government, education, and non-profit resources, workshops, and networking opportunities that will be beneficial to the entrepreneur as they move forward and utilize those resources and connections to build their business.”

The expo will feature workshops on training opportunities for workforce development, as well as information on marketing, researching and branding a business, choosing the best certification, manufacturing and technology, and securing government contracts.

“Since the inception of this event, the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State has participated by providing content for workshops and, in the past three years, 15-minute, one-on-one business counseling sessions,” Wlison says. “This year, we will continue to participate in the one-on-one speed business counseling sessions and will be conducting two workshops− one on what it takes to start a small business in “I Really Want to Start a Business, Now What?” conducted with the 1st Stop Business Connection, and one on the use of social media in “Social Media for Business: It’s About More Than Coffee” conducted by Michael Bowers, regional director of the Ohio SBDC at CSCC.”

The expo fee is $25 per person and covers the cost of a continental breakfast and lunch. The expo will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ohio Dominican University’s LEAD Building, located at 2600 Airport Dr. in Columbus.

To register for the expo, visit