Apr 25, 2021 | 7 min read

How to make the most of National Small Business Week

This article was updated on April 12, 2023.

National Small Business Week, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is an annual celebration of the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, small businesses nationwide have faced unprecedented challenges.

That's why, this year, National Small Business Week will celebrate the tenacity and resiliency of America’s entrepreneurs who continue to do their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback.

Celebrated from April 30 - May 6, 2023, the week is a great opportunity for your business to get more media coverage and a chance to interact with new customers. With the added attention on small businesses, take advantage of these seven tips to help your business stand out this year.

#1 Share your journey

During National Small Business Week, some customers pledge to shop exclusively at local businesses. They’re looking to put dollars back into their communities and discover new sources for must-have products and services. 

It’s a great time to grab their attention. Collect your thoughts in a written post or video. Then, share it on email, your website, and on Nextdoor: 

  • Tell your story – What inspired you to become a small business owner? How many years have you been in business? How has your model changed or grown over the years? 
  • Reflect on navigating uncertainty – Most small businesses have faced challenges over the past few years. How has it impacted your business? How has the community helped your business weather the storm? If you’re a new business owner, what inspired you to open your doors during this difficult period?
  • Affirm what community means to you – What meaningful interactions with customers, fellow business owners, or community organizations have inspired you to keep serving your neighbors?

Leverage free business tools on Nextdoor

When it comes to connecting with nearby customers online, Nextdoor is the place to be.

Once you’ve claimed your free Business Page, you can:

  • Post to your neighborhood. Share what makes Small Business Week important to you.
  • Customize your page with photos, contact information, and a link to your website.
  • Share your business story to add a personal touch to your Business Page.
  • Run paid promotions exclusively for your neighbors.

Nextdoor neighbors are enthusiastic about supporting local businesses, and posts that share owners’ stories and perspectives can gain a lot of traction. Use these features to get your story out during Small Business Week.

#2 Say “Thank You” to your customers

As a small business owner, you know how intrinsically tied you are to your customer base. 

To that end, Small Business Week is an opportunity to give thanks back to the community that supports you. Reward existing customers and promote loyalty through strategies like the following:

Schedule a gratitude email

The people who already subscribe to your listserv are some of your biggest supporters. 

Give your subscribers a big shout-out, thanking them with one of the following:

  • A discount on purchases during Small Business Week (10%)
  • A flat discount (i.e. $5 or $10 off on any purchase)
  • A free gift with a purchase

These can help drive sales while making your customers feel appreciated.

Create a raffle giveaway

Don’t have the inventory or budget to offer incentives to all your loyal customers?

A raffle can be a great way to expand your customer base and create brand awareness—all at a low cost.

Invite people to participate in a raffle by subscribing to your newsletter, tagging your business on social media, Faving your business on Nextdoor, or putting their name in a jar when they enter your store. No matter what method you use, announcing the contest—and the winners—is sure to create buzz around your local business.

Reach local customers with Nextdoor Ads

Are you interested in running an online promotion? Nextdoor Ads allows you to target customers in your specific neighborhood. That way, you know that the people seeing your deal are only a short drive or walk away.

Use Nextdoor’s advertising tools to create a promotion that runs throughout Small Business Week. Then, track the success of your campaign to plan for future ads.

#3 Partner with other local businesses

If your neighborhood business association regularly holds a festival for Small Business Week, you know the difference it can make in foot traffic and awareness.

If no one else has stepped up to the plate, there's a great opportunity to lift up other small businesses while promoting yours.

Try strategies like the following:

  • Cross-promote – Your social media reach only extends so far. By joining forces with another business, you’ll have access to their audience, too. For example, agree to create a post or put up flyers highlighting their business in your storefront. 
  • Create a coupon booklet – A coupon booklet or “small business crawl” can give customers more incentives when they patronize more small businesses. For example, pool resources with three or four other businesses to give a coupon or a free product to customers who make a qualifying purchase from all your businesses during Small Business Week.
  • Team up on a gift basket – Whether you sell products or offer services, collaborate with other businesses to bundle your wares into a single, affordable package. For example, if you’re a chocolate maker, team up with a florist. If you offer web design, partner up with a local marketing agency. 

Look to Capitals Ice Cream, an Oklahoma City ice cream shop, for inspiration on this one. 

When co-owner Landon Ferguson teamed up with other businesses in the area to provide deliverable boxes—packed with locally sourced goodies—perfect for date night in or a stuck-at-home survival kit.

Whether you’re trying to build back following challenging times or celebrating small business grit, this is an excellent display of teamwork and local partnership. 

#4 Host a special event

Another great way to cross-promote with other local businesses is to host a “block party.”

Host outdoor events that can attract more people to your neighborhood and your business. Virtual events can still work well, too.

  • Restaurants and bars: Consider dining specials like prix fixe menus and tasting flights. Don’t forget to cross-promote other businesses with a coupon booklet or punch card. If your event is virtual, offer meal kits or takeout specials.
  • Retailers and service providers: Set up outdoor booths to take advantage of extra foot traffic for in-person events. Alternatively, create an event webpage allowing visitors to browse online.
  • Real estate agents: Kenneth Er, an Oakland-based agent, recommend spicing up a traditional open house with raffles and spreading the word via social media. Consider teaming up with a local restaurant, spa, or hotel to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring the giveaway. And if you decide to offer coffee and snacks to prospective buyers, pick them up from a café or bakery in the neighborhood. Not only will you entice more people to your event, but you’ll be supporting businesses in the area—many of which will gladly return the favor with word-of-mouth referrals to their regular clientele.

#5 Show appreciation for your employees

Like your customers, your employees are also vital to your local business’s success.

While Employee Appreciation Day falls on March 3rd, we think that Small Business Week is another opportunity to say “thank you”. 

  • Appoint an employee of the month/year and sing their praises on your Nextdoor Business Page. If they’d like, let them say a few words themselves in a social media takeover.
  • Buy your employees a gift certificate at another local business. See if that business wants to do the same in return, rewarding their employees with your products or services.

#6 Take advantage of Small Business Administration programs

Beyond the programs in your community, the Small Business Administration (SBA) hosts regular online events with plenty of opportunities for business development including workshops, webinars, and certifications.

While in-person events are exciting networking opportunities, online get-togethers have their own perks, too. At this year’s virtual summit there will be more opportunities than ever for business leaders from across the country to share resources and strategies for growth.

Keep your eyes peeled for this year’s agenda on the SBA website. No matter how long you’ve been in business, there’s always more to learn!

#7 Make the most of each day

Although the SBA’s virtual event is a two-day affair, why not rally for a full seven days? You’ve earned it!

Take advantage of each day with strategies like the following:

  • Scheduled emails to inform your fans throughout the week
  • 7 days of deals to keep customers coming back to your store or website
  • Incentives for repeat purchases like punch cards and added discounts
  • Posts on social media, including takeover and cross-promotional posts.

A celebratory week for a year of strong growth

Small Business Week offers a fruitful opportunity to grab customers’ attention while small businesses are already on their minds.

Besides the marketing advantages of Small Business Week, it’s the ideal event for connecting with your customers on a deeper level. 

By sharing your story on Nextdoor and rewarding customer and employee loyalty, you’ll create deep bonds that will last well beyond the week and set the stage for a year of growth.


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SBA. National Small Business Week. https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week

SBA. Virtual conference. https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference

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Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.