Small Business Week starts Sunday

National Small Business Week begins Sunday.

And it’s something most Owensboro businesses can celebrate.

“Ninety percent of our members are small businesses,” Candance Castlen Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, said this week. “Ninety percent of our regional economy is based on small businesses.”

She said, “When we see job growth, it’s largely because of existing businesses.”

Brake said, “Every day is Small Business Day for us. We help them with red tape, regulations and business plans. They’re the majority of why we’re here.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration says small businesses can have up to 1,500 employees, depending on the type of business.

Only two companies in Daviess County have more than 1,500 employees, according to the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp.’s website.

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is listed at 4,125 employees.

And US Bank Home Mortgage is listed at 2,120.

Brake said the local chamber uses under 200 employees as its definition of a small business.

Nationally, the SBA says, there are 30 million small businesses.

It adds that National Small Business Week has been observed on the first week of May every year since 1963.

The local chamber does its biggest push for small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with its Shop Owensboro campaign to encourage people to shop with smaller local merchants.

The day is known nationally as Small Business Saturday.

Sixty merchants participated in last year’s event in Daviess County.