Every year since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) highlights the impact of small businesses in cities across the nation through the designation of National Small Business Week.

This year, top SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced National Small Business Week will be May 1-7, with the theme “Dream Big, Start Small.”

It’s a time to reflect on our local small businesses and their contribution to our community.

Most small business owners live and work in their local community. They contribute locally in terms of wages and purchase local services to support their business.

Small businesses sponsor Little League teams, advertise in local media, hire locally, and even give to local charities.

Napa Massage & Skin Care in downtown Napa is one example of a local business giving back to the community.

After the fires in Lake County, Napa Massage & Skin Care held a fundraiser to give back money that would help toward the rebuilding of the area.

“People in Napa are very supportive and come together in times of need,” said Kimberly McMaster, co-owner of Napa Massage & Skin Care.

“We hold fundraisers to help out the community and also local community organizations. Every year, we raise money to help support the Humane Society Napa County. Our clients are amazing.”

Napa is very supportive of their business start-ups too.

“Napa Valley has been the most ideal place to start my business,” said Sarita Lopez, local business owner and SBDC NxLeveL graduate. “As one of the wealthiest and trendiest areas in the U.S., this is a clientele that isn’t afraid to tell you what they want to buy and why.”

“I started with a farm and am now launching a product due to overwhelming feedback from selling at the local farmers market.”

According to the SBA, for every dollar spent at a locally-owned business, on average, is three times more economically beneficial for a local community than one dollar spent at a corporate-owned chain store.

Collectively, small businesses have been the single biggest job creators in the U.S. since the 1970s. Small businesses have accounted for more than 63 percent of the new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013.

Community colleges enhance and support small business growth locally. These colleges provide a community-based and applied approach to engage small businesses.

At Napa Valley College, business and workforce development programs and customized training are available to support local economic development in the county.

One such program is the Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC works with Napa Valley small businesses and entrepreneurs offering technical assistance in areas of business planning, access to capital, marketing strategy, budgeting, government contracting and more.

Shopping at small businesses is promoting economic well-being locally. Therefore, next time you need to shop for yourself or someone else, visit a local small business near you and give them a hug for all that they contribute.

To make an appointment to meet with an SBDC Business Advisor, contact the Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center at 707-256-7250, or check out napasonomasbdc.org to view a schedule of business workshops and sign up for services.

Mary Cervantes is the business services director for Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center. Reach her at 256-7253 or mcervantes@napavalley.edu.

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