Consumers can show support on “Small Business Saturday”

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. Now, on Nov. 27, comes Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers

Joining American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday, are an initial group of more than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations, including:

The 3/50 Project Business Matchmaking
Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence
Destination DC eWomenNetwork
Facebook Girls Inc.
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center National Association of Women Business Owners
New York City Department of Small Business Services NYC & Company
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau SCORE: Counselors to Americas Small Businesses
Women’s Leadership Exchange Women Impacting Public Policy
Women President’s Organization Yelp!

American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault will launch the nationwide program later today with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Small businesses are critical to the nation’s overall economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year. Over the past two decades, they created 65 percent of net new jobs. Their importance to local communities extends even further. For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small business advocacy group The 3/50 Project.

Social media will play a central role in helping raise awareness about the importance of supporting small business and recognizing Small Business Saturday. American Express is launching campaigns on Facebook and Twitter driving consumers and business owners to facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday where they can participate in many ways, including:

  • American Express is giving a $25 statement credit to 100,000 Cardmembers who register their Card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday at any locally-owned, independent small businesses that accept American Express.
  • American Express is also giving $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up at facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to help build online buzz and drive customers to shop at their businesses on Small Business Saturday. By simply entering a few pieces of information and clicking a button, these business owners can create a personalized, geo-targeted ad that will run on Facebook leading up to Nov. 27. Facebook has donated $500,000 in Facebook credits for these small business owners to use in the future.
  • Small business owners can also download online promotional materials and use a number of social media tools to promote their businesses on the inaugural Small Business Saturday.
  • Everyone can spread the word about the day and their favorite businesses by giving a shout-out to their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter.
  • For every person who ‘likes’ Small Business Saturday on Facebook, American Express is donating $1 up to $500,000 to Girls Inc. to empower young women to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

To support Small Business Saturday, American Express is also launching a national advertising campaign.

“Supporting local business is more than just a one-day event,” said Chenault, “and Small Business Saturday is a movement we can all help sustain. We encourage consumers across the country to join us and the many advocates that are already on board.”

About Jennifer Kruger

Jennifer Barr Kruger is Director of Communications for Photo Marketing Association International and Publisher of PMA magazine. In addition, Kruger is editor of PMA Newsline and PMA Newsline Weekly, and was previously the editor of several other industry publications. She is a contributor to both the DIMAcast (www.DIMAcast.com) and the Imaging Executive Podcast (www.imagingexecutive.com). Kruger is a 2010 ADDY Award winner for podcasting. She joined PMA in 1994.