National Small Business Week begins next month, running May 1-7. First held in 1963, the week recognizes the contributions of U.S. entrepreneurs and small-business owners. This year’s theme is “Dream Big, Start Small.”

Throughout the week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small-business owners and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. The SBA will start the week with an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where it will recognize recipients in 17 different categories ranging from exporting, outreach, contracting, lending and disaster recovery to manufacturing and research and development. The SBA will also announce the 2016 Small Business Person of the Year.

“There are more than 28 million small businesses serving as the economic engine of our country, employing half of the private sector and creating two out of three net new jobs,” says SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “If our small-business sector was a country, its output would rank number three above Germany and Japan.  I’m looking forward to welcoming these talented entrepreneurs to their nation’s capital and celebrating their stories to shine a light on American ingenuity and innovation.”

After the awards ceremony, the SBA’s National Small Business Week programming will continue with small-business events in Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix, and will finish up in California with visits to San Jose and Oakland. Additionally, recognition and educational events throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week.

Companies with less than $7 million in annual sales and fewer than 500 employees are widely considered small businesses, according to the SBA. Among PPAI’s membership, the vast majority report revenes in this category with only three percent of distibutors reporting revenues between $1 and $10 million, and five percent of suppliers and one percent of distributors reporting more than $10 million.

Click here to learn how your company can participate in National Small Business Week events and education opportunities.