Friday, November 19, 2010

Small Business Saturday: Shop, Save and Help Local Businesses

The American Express OPEN initiative will provide free advertising for small retailers and rewards for consumers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Shop till you drop: American Express OPEN's Small Business Saturday will reward consumers who shop at local retailers the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, the holiday shopping season is almost in full swing. Now small retailers have a special sales promotion day all their own to promote holiday spending: Small Business Saturday.

American Express OPEN has dubbed Nov. 27 -- the Saturday after Thanksgiving -- Small Business Saturday. The initiative seeks to drive shoppers to local merchants across the United States, in hopes of helping them create jobs, boost the economy and increase revenues for their communities.

Over the past 20 years, 65 percent of net new jobs have been created by the nation's small businesses -- at last count, 28 million strong, according to the Small Business Administration. The 3/50 Project, a small-business advocacy group, says for every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68 goes back to the community in the form of taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Small Business Saturday is an effort to keep that money in the community.

Small Business Saturday is designed to benefit consumers, too. American Express has launched a national campaign to promote Small Business Saturday, along with campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, driving consumers and business owners to, where they can participate in several ways:
  • American Express is giving $25 statement credits to 100,000 card holders who register their cards and use them to shop on Small Business Saturday at locally owned, independent small businesses that accept American Express.
  • American Express will give $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up at to help build online buzz about the event. The personalized, geo-targeted ads will run on Facebook in the days before Nov. 27. Facebook has donated $500,000 in Facebook credits for these small-business owners to use in the future.
  • Small-business owners can download online promotional materials and use social media tools to promote their businesses for Small Business Saturday.
"Small business is among the sectors hardest hit by the recession," Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, said in announcing the initiative. "By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country at a time when they need support the most."

In addition to American Express OPEN, the Small Business Saturday initiative is supported by more than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations, including The 3/50 Project, Facebook, The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center, The National Association of Women Business Owners, SCORE, and Yelp.

For more information on the initiative and to download tools, visit or

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