Photo: Twenty20 / @kirsty

By Annie Scheers

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has held Small Business Week in recognition of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country.

Think about it: We all have a favorite small business. Whether it’s an ice cream shop run by your next-door neighbor or a local tech startup that you’re rooting for to make it big, there’s no denying that these spaces and endeavors make their ways into our hearts.

Together, small businesses can create a big impact: Their dedication to innovation and exploring new technologies not only creates two out of three new jobs in the U.S. each year, but also drives global competition. Those accolades are certainly worth the celebration.

Chicago is full of innovative small businesses like Moneythink, Zero Percent and Pearachute. Whether you own a small business or just frequent them, it’s a great time to thank your favorite local spots for their benefit to the community.

How do small businesses succeed?

Small Business Week is also a great time to shed light on useful business resources. There are lot of conflicting reports on what goes wrong when small businesses fail, so we’re curious: What does it take to succeed?

Scalable startups and local fixtures alike share hurdles to growth including financing, marketing and customer service. These challenges rely on strong management and communication for effective solutions.


Internet, phone and television services are critical communication channels. Businesses can bundle these services with one provider like Comcast Business to save time and limit their stress.

Using cutting-edge technology to help manage your business is a must. Internet access is not only the gateway to expansion through e-commerce and social media, but also streamlines communication with employees and customers and offers useful software packages like Office 365.

On May 2, we’re excited to attend CNBC’s Small Business Celebration in Chicago at STUDIO XFINITY. Small Business Week, Comcast Business and CNBC’s The Profit are teaming up to host a panel of small business leaders in Chicago, moderated by CNBC Small Business Expert Kate Rogers.

The panel will cover topics like entrepreneurship in Chicago, using technology to help manage a business, social media’s role in marketing small businesses and more.

If you’re interested in any aspect of the small business hustle, check back here for our coverage of the event. We’ll be sure to pick up as many secrets to success as we can.