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SBA Week 2021
Small businesses are the heart of our communities.  These businesses not only provide locally sourced items, but the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that more than half of working Americans either work for or own a small business.  In celebration of these small business owners and employees, the SBA designated September 13th through 17th this year as National Small Business Week.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) protects and empowers consumers through advocacy and education while ensuring a fair playing field for the Massachusetts businesses its agencies regulate—many of which are small businesses.  In fact, the Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) and its boards of registration approve and license 15% of the state’s workforce.  This represents the total number of licensees compared to the total number of individuals employed throughout the Commonwealth.

The DOL, an agency within OCABR, is responsible for the oversight of 28 boards of registration, as well as the Office of Public Safety and Inspections and the Office of Private Occupational School Education.  Collectively, DOL boards and offices license and regulate more than 580,000 individuals, businesses, and schools to engage in over 150 trades and professions in Massachusetts.

Another agency within OCABR, the Division of Standards (DOS), also registers or licenses small businesses and small business owners.  These registrants and licensees include motor vehicle damage repair shops, motor vehicle glass repair shops, and mobile outdoor sellers (hawker and peddlers).  In addition to registration and licensing, DOS oversees weights and measures in the Commonwealth and enforces the item pricing law, unit pricing regulations, and item pricing waivers to retail food stores.

The past year and a half has been challenging for small businesses as COVID-19 changed how consumers shop and use business services. To acknowledge the hardships small businesses have encountered, this year’s SBA Small Business Week conference theme was “Celebrating Resilience and Renewal.” The theme focused on entrepreneurs’ recovery from the pandemic through educational panels on best practices for small businesses to pivot and recover.

You can still join in the celebration of Small Business Week by supporting small businesses this weekend.  Patronizing your local nail salon, auto mechanic, food truck, or other favorite local shop on Main Street supports the small business economy.

For more information about SBA Small Business Week visit www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week. You may also visit the OCABR website for details on how to verify businesses, licensees, or registrants our agencies regulate.

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