WASHINGTON — Aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners and others are invited to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week events May 12 to 16.

Every year since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week. This year, events will take place across the country to engage the small business community and highlight their importance as innovators and job creators who strengthen the nation’s economy, according to a news release from SBA.

Activities include forums and panels discussing trends in small business, business innovation, financing, growth, matchmaking events, as well as networking opportunities and award ceremonies. National Small Business Week culminates in Washington, D.C., where the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year is named. Candidates from all 50 states, the Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico are competing for the award. Small business owners and their employees who attend will interact with federal government officials, local elected leaders, representatives from national businesses and other small business experts, according to the release.

Events will be held May 12 in San Francisco, May 13 in Kansas City, May 15 in Boston and Washington, D.C., and May 16 in Washington, D.C., according to the release.

Interested individuals can register online for events at www.sba.gov/smallbusiness week. Events will also be live-streamed on SBA’s website at www.sba.gov.

Throughout the week, there also will be webinars and other live events, including the 30th annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon, Thursday, May 15, at Martin’s West in Woodlawn. SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho, presents awards to the Maryland winners. For more information, contact Rachel Howard at 443-848-7025 or at rachel.howard@sba.gov or for tickets, visit the event website at www.mdsb wawards.org.

Follow Business Editor Bob Zimberoff on Twitter @stardem_biz

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