It's National Small Business Week--and you're invited. Starting today, the SBA will host a series of events at the Renaissance Washington, DC, Hotel, to celebrate small business and select a Small Business Person of the Year from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. The award recognizes outstanding small-business owners for their personal achievements and contributions to the U.S. economy.

The theme for this year's celebration, "Small Business: Where America Works," is appropriate, given the events of September 11 and the economic uncertainty facing America. Some of the more notable events will include a tribute to 9/11 heroes, "Remembering September 11," with keynote speaker and Department of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill; a forum with Michael Dell; and a discussion on retirement, "Closing the Small Business Retirement Security Gap for Employers and Employees," with Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Additional special awards will honor the SBA Young Entrepreneur, Small Business Exporter of the Year and the SBA Entrepreneurial Success winner (for a company that has developed into a large business with the SBA's help). The National SCORE Chapter of the Year will also be honored.

For more on Small Business Week, go to http://smallbusinesssuccess.sba.gov. More information on the winners of the various awards will be available later this week.