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This year, National Small Business Week is celebrated September 22-24 with a three-day virtual conference. Despite the unique challenges amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, American small businesses continue to play a central role in building a strong nation.

National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners and how vital they are to the nation and our local economy. This year’s National Small Business Week activities include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as the nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy.

American Federal Bank salutes small businesses who are the backbone and spirit of our economy. They grow their business, create jobs and ensure our communities remain vibrant.

Small businesses are the reason American Federal Bank was founded back in 1891. We wanted to help main street businesses with their credit and deposit needs to reach their goals.

“American Federal is a small business in its own right. We are an employee-owned community bank headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, with 13 Sales Offices up and down the Red River Valley and the Lakes Region of northwestern Minnesota. This gives our Bankers a unique bond with their small business customers, and allows them to provide trusted advice and local decision making,” said Pat McShane, Fargo Downtown Market President.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, American Federal has helped more than 665 small businesses and farms with $45 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

More than one-half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two out of three jobs in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Why Americans Use Small Business

  • Consumers trust small businesses. A Gallop pole says consumers are three times as likely to express confidence in small business as they are in big business.
  • Strong customer service is an important factor that keeps clients returning to small business.
  • Small businesses give back to their communities whether it is supporting the local sports teams, participating in community events or hiring workers.
  • Small businesses produce value for a community. A strong community has a strong small business sector that produces annual receipts as low as $1 million for farms to $50 million or more for retail, construction, health care, manufacturing and service organizations.

Steps to Help your Small Business Thrive

When you are looking for ways to enhance your business development efforts, leverage financing programs that may be available, do your due diligence and make the most of your small business status by:

  • Using the SBA’s small business tools
  • Exploring financial solutions with an American Federal Banker (insert URL)
  • Searching for small business grants
  • Researching federal contract opportunities and pursuing registration if desired
  • Pursuing state and local government grants and contracting opportunities for small businesses
  • Taking advantage of SCORE’s support services
  • Supporting your fellow small businesses