In the same way that every day is children's day, isn't every week small-business week?

The difference is that for children, play is their work, while for small-business owners, never-ending work is their work.

So perhaps a week that acknowledges their toil, appetite for risk, and economic impact is appropriate. This year, the U.S. Small Business Administration will stage National Small Business Week with a series of events from June 17 to 21.

If you absolutely cannot wait until June, however, you can celebrate what the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is calling its inaugural Small Business Week from May 13 to 17.

Yes, the region's largest chamber of commerce says this will be its first such week. Hard to believe for a 210-year-old organization that says 85 percent of its 5,000 member companies have 100 or fewer workers.

"We scratched our heads on that when we were kicking [the idea] around last year," said Rob Wonderling, the chamber's president and chief executive officer.

Coming off a monthlong Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, a weeklong Philly Tech Week, and Philly Start-up Weekend April 26 to 28, aren't we in danger of week du jour overload?

Wonderling, a former state senator from Montgomery County, recognizes the potential for a themed week's getting lost in the blur. He alluded to the special days and weeks approved regularly by the legislature for people, organizations, causes, and more.

But a small-business week will help the chamber counter the perception some have that it is the voice of big businesses, he said.

Most of the 160 events the chamber conducts each year are geared toward its small-business members. Grouping a series of events under the banner of Small Business Week will "magnify that's who we are," Wonderling said.

Title sponsor Verizon signed on to promote events such as a May 16 webinar by an executive coach on developing a "don't quit" attitude and a May 17 program by Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger, who studies "social epidemics" - the online viral variety, not the coughing-up-phlegm kind.

Still, I think I will need to start a National Take a Break from Special Business Weeks Day, when I stay in the office making phone calls, sending e-mail, and writing columns. In short, working. Not celebrating work. Just working.

Care to join me?


Read Diane Mastrull's

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Contact Mike Armstrong

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