Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe announced that their offices are partnering to celebrate Small Business Week.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Kehoe and Treasurer Fitzpatrick will travel across the state touring several businesses that participate in Missouri FIRST, the state’s linked deposit program, and Buy Missouri, administered by the lieutenant governor’s office.

“Small businesses are the heart of Missouri’s economy,” Kehoe said. “All across the state men and women manufacture products, produce goods, or provide services while at the same time hiring hundreds of thousands of our family, friends, and neighbors.

“The state of Missouri is blessed with entrepreneurs of all sorts, and the businesses they lead are as unique as they are. It is always a pleasure to visit small businesses, and I am pleased to join Treasurer Fitzpatrick to celebrate Small Business Week,” he added.

“I am excited to visit with these entrepreneurs and recognize the important role small businesses play in Missouri’s economy,” Fitzpatrick said. “As a business owner myself, I know the dedication and hard work it takes to run a successful business. I believe investing in Missourians is always a good idea and Missouri FIRST can turn entrepreneurial dreams into reality.”

Nationally, more than half of Americans either work for or own a small business — and small business owners create two out of three American jobs.

Since 2000, the treasurer’s office has issued $2.1 billion in linked deposits for small businesses.

Wednesday’s tour will take Kehoe and Fitzpatrick to Springfield, Kansas City and Hannibal.