Small businesses – some are quite visible, and others, well, you may find them tucked away in garages, basements, kitchens, home offices, or even in cars. You never know where they’ll crop up, but when you find them, the discovery is often a true reflection of an individual or group of people pursuing an entrepreneurial dream in which they can earn a living, and provide jobs and livelihoods for themselves and others.

Once a year, our nation’s small businesses are celebrated and for good reason. It is estimated that 25 million small business owners drive our nation’s economy. Small businesses employ more than half of the country’s private work force, and can take credit for creating three of every four new jobs. It is the small business in which the majority of new innovations are born.

National Small Business Week was first observed in 1963, and has been observed every year since. Created by the U.S. Small Business Administration, its mission is to help entrepreneurs realize their potential as a small business so that they may turn their dreams into a reality. In Scarborough, 1,100 dreams have become reality and will be celebrated next week, April 30 through May 6.

So, if you’ve got some brilliant idea and are looking for some inspiration to make your idea a reality, or are looking to grow your business, paying a visit to Scarborough’s Small Business Week might be well worth the trip. Gathering information, doing your homework, observing and learning from others are all great ways to maximize dreams, and what better place for this to happen than at your local library.

There will be business displays of products and information in the center of the busy library throughout the week. Come and discover some of Scarborough’s best kept tucked away businesses that you may not yet be aware of – such as Home Runners, Gawron Turgeon Architects, Maine Warmers, Katahdin Kids, Inspect it 1st, Foxcroft and Coach Lantern, Nextasea, ABI Network Services, Funman Promotions, Whole Home Resource, Dog Paws Inn, Management Consultant, Susan deGrandpre’, or Career Planning Services, and more. Or, re-discover those more visible businesses you’re in contact with everyday. A wide range of businesses will be represented.

Brought to you by Scarborough Community Chamber, whose mission is to advocate for, promote, and develop local businesses and community – they lead by educating, networking, marketing, and generating opportunities for active business members to succeed. The event is co-sponsored by Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) and Scarborough Public Library. The combination of all three creates a visible community event that celebrates and encourages small business while offering outreach to help businesses grow through educational materials on money management, safety, health, or environmental awareness.

In addition to the week long display of businesses, there will be networking and educational events being held in the meeting room:

Monday, May 1, from 5 to 7 p.m.: Business After Five networking event, food and beverage provided courtesy of Hannaford of Scarborough. This is a great way for businesses to network.

Wednesday, May 3: Lunch and Learn with Jack Miller of Commercial Loan & Training Consultants will simplify the complexity of securing a commercial loan offering tips on how you can put your best foot forward to improve your chances and develop a favorable relationship with your lender.

Friday, May 5: Lunch and Learn with Don Zihlman, President of DRZ Marketing will share his StreetSmart ideas for reaching new customers and clients and offer steps to help you grow your business.

So, bring a lunch, the hour long sessions will begin at noon

Where would we be without small business? Growing up in a small business, I appreciate the long hard hours that people put into their professions. There are those awkward moments when the sole proprietor of a retail store needs to lock the door for a bathroom break. Or, if you want customers to come in, decide to take your lunch break because sure enough – hours later, there your lunch sits – cold or dried out. Hopefully, Scarborough’s sole proprietor business owners will be able to break away to attend a few of the events planned. It’s always nice to learn the many great professions that take place in quiet tucked away places!

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