Support Small Business

As you know, the holiday shopping season traditionally starts with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which is the busiest day of the year for retail sales. A few days later is Cyber Monday, when online sales often hit their peak. Between the two, American Express wants to put Small Business Saturday on the map as a day when consumers focus their shopping at independently-owned local businesses.

As part of this effort, American Express will be doing many things to support the small businesses that preserve the vitality and character of neighborhoods across the country, including:

* A major social media campaign to spread the word about Small Business Saturday and encourage people to give shout-outs for their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter.
* A great reward for cardmembers. American Express will give a $25 statement credit to 100,000 cardmembers who register their card and use it to spend at least $25 at any independently-owned local small business that accepts American Express cards on Saturday, November 27.
* Free online advertising for small business owners. Ten thousand business owners who sign up will receive a $100 Facebook advertising credit to help build online buzz and attract customers.
* An investment in the future of small business. For everyone who “likes” Small Business Saturday on Facebook, American Express will donate one dollar to Girls, Inc., a non-profit educational organization, to teach young women to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We will donate up to $500,000.

American Express will also be supporting this effort with a Small Business Saturday advertising campaign that will run nationally starting this week.

How You Can Help

We  encourage you to do some of your holiday and everyday shopping at small businesses, especially on Small Business Saturday. Visit http://www.smallbusinesssaturday.com to learn more about the effort. Take advantage of the statement credit if you have an eligible American Express card. And spread the word to your family members and friends.

You can also shout out for your favorite small businesses right here at The Social Hour blog on The Square. Tell us about the best places to shop and eat in your neighborhood, send us your pictures, and become an advocate for your favorite local merchants. Visiting the blog might also help you find great places to shop that you haven’t yet discovered.

Every one of us needs small businesses to thrive just as much as they need our help. For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Over the past two decades, small businesses have created 65 percent of new jobs in this country. Let’s help to keep more small businesses open and prospering.