U.S. Bank, one of the largest and most successful small business banks in the nation, is celebrating National Small Business Week (June 17-21) with a number of activities aimed at recognizing and supporting small businesses. “We are thrilled to join the U.S. Small Business Administration in celebrating Small Business Week with our customers,” said Julie Huston, who leads U.S. Bank’s SBA Division. “U.S. Bank has been a top SBA lender for decades, breaking our all time lending record in 2011 and continuing to deepen our commitment to serving the small business owner.” U.S. Bank Connect TM – a website and networking portal for small businesses that launched in 2012 – is offering small businesses a chance to win a $100 gift card and a printed copy of the first Connect Startup Toolbox, which is new in 2013. The first toolbox topic focuses on goal setting. U.S. Bank is encouraging business owners enter the contest by sharing their top business goal for 2013 on the U.S. Bank Connect. “National Small Business Week is a great opportunity to introduce a new feature to the U.S. Bank Connect site – Connect Startup Toolboxes,” said Cathi Stanton, senior vice president for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions. “These online toolboxes will deliver key information and tools for small business owners building the foundation for their business.” U.S. Bank will release new Connect Startup Toolboxes throughout the summer and into the fall. The “Goal Setting” toolbox has five steps for helping owners create goals with a planning worksheet. In addition to goal setting, future Connect Startup Toolbox topics will include: business planning, business differentiation, marketing planning, budgeting and social media marketing. Alyssa Gregory, an online networking expert and toolbox creator, will host a Twitter chat on Wednesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. CT. Gregory is a small business consultant, writer, speaker and collaborator who has been helping start and grow small businesses for 13 years. To join the chat, go to Twitter @USBankConnect and use the hashtag #USBconnectchat to discuss goal setting. U.S. Bank will launch a new print, broadcast and digital small business adverting campaign on Monday, June 17 in numerous markets. In addition, small business bankers across the country will be making special visits to clients to show appreciation for their business.