National Small Business Week (NSBW) is an annual celebration of the 28 million entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States. Run by the Small Business Association (SBA), this year’s NSBW takes place from May 1–7 and culminates in the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year award.

It’s a great time to be a small business owner, and there are lots of ways to join in.

Small business happenings will take place across the country during NSBW, including events and training sessions for small business owners (both online and in-person).

Instead of being a passive observer, why not get involved in your own way? This is a great time to increase visibility for your business. Don’t wait until Small Business Saturday in November—here are some ways you can use National Small Business Week to celebrate your business this May:

1. Shout Out Your Achievements

Think of unique ways that your business has contributed to your community and give your business a shoutout!

  • Did you hire a record number of employees in the past year?
  • Did you get involved in community events or fundraisers?
  • Did you take a product or solution to market that’s getting a lot of buzz?
  • Do you have star employees that you think are worth a shout out?
  • What about your fabulous customers? Are they doing amazing things with your products?

The possibilities are endless. Now think of channels to tell your stories. It could be as simple as a blog post and some social media promotion, or even a series of blog posts over the course of the week to showcase different achievements, people, or products.

2. Hold an NSBW-Themed Customer Event

What better time to share your success and show your customers some love than National Small Business Week? You could host an onsite party or take your best customers out for a day of wine tasting, golf, whatever! These events are a great way to get to know your customers better and listen to their feedback—both good and bad.

3. Partner with Another Small Business

Look for a complementary business and get together to brainstorm ideas for collaborating during NSBW. You could co-host an event or run a campaign to promote the mutual benefits of your products, with a promotion thrown in. Banding together is a great way to instantly reach new audiences.

4. Give Out Your Own Awards

Add some NSBW focus to your event or campaign plans by hosting your own awards:

  • Showcase a star employee, one that’s made a difference to many customers. You could even poll your customers to select the winner.
  • Share some of your highlights from the year. Make it fun! No dry PowerPoint slides please. Add some color by sharing stories of fun or quirky things that have happened or showcase how you overcame obstacles and came through for your team/customers, etc.
  • Ask your customers to rank your products. List the winners in an infographic or newsletter. Give the winning product its own award!
  • Don’t forget to thank your family!

This could all happen online (blogs, infographics, email updates, social media, etc.) or in-person at your event.

Other Ways to Get More Out of National Small Business Week

These are just some ideas, but remember, NSBW isn’t just about awards and celebrating small business: It’s also about stepping back and learning from industry experts and from each other. Think of ways to use this time to invest back in your business. Join one of the free online panels or sessions available. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce and meet other business owners. Read an ebook—or even get your accounting in order.

Happy National Small Business Week!

Caron is a small business owner, writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron has blogged for the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE ,and other organizations on all matters relating to small business management and growth. Connect with Caron on Twitter and at April Marketing.