Iowa small business owners are encouraged to take a little time away from running those businesses this week to learn about ways they might improve their operations.

Bailey DeVries, associate administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, says this year’s National Small Business Week Summit is being held virtually with a host of learning and educational sessions.

“We’ll include representatives from small businesses across the country as well as representatives from Fortune 500 companies,” DeVries says. “Small business is big business and forging those relationships that are important for strategic partnerships, customer relationships, all of this is so important in helping entrepreneurs on their path to success.”

The three-day summit opens today (Monday) under the banner “Celebrating Resilience and Renewal.” She says it will zero in on subjects that concern small businesses owners — like the outlook for the economy and how to better serve small businesses in underserved and under-invested communities.

“There will be tailored events specific to different types of businesses,” DeVries says. “There will be sessions focused on access to capital for women entrepreneurs. We will also have sessions dedicated to resilience and recovery in this pandemic environment and how small businesses can adapt to the trends transforming the workforce.” More than 95-percent of Iowa’s businesses are small businesses, which DeVries refers to as the “lifeblood” of the country.

“There are over 32 million small businesses operating across the United States and they continue to be the drivers of massive amounts of job creation within the private sector,” DeVries says. “Two out of every three new jobs are with small businesses and more than half of our workforce either works for or owns a small business.”

It’s free to attend the summit, which she says will celebrate small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs and creativity. To register, visit