April 20, 2007 -- President Bush on Friday officially declared April 22-28 National Small Business Week, praising small businesses as the engine of the nation's economic growth.

"Every day, our nation's small businesses help enhance the lives of our citizens and lead the way in an economy distinguished by low unemployment, sustained job creation, and one of the fastest growth rates of any industrialized nation," the president said in his proclamation.

Along with special events across the nation, the annual celebration includes a two-day conference and awards ceremony in Washington hosted by the Small Business Administration. The awards recognize top entrepreneurs in all 50 states, as well as the national small-business person of the year.

This year's winners represent a range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, retail, construction, and professional services, said SBA Administrator Steven Preston.      

"The state and regional winners who will be a part of this event personify the entrepreneurial spirit that is vital to the growth of the American economy," Preston said in a statement.

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Published on: Apr 20, 2007