New York—The big box retailers may be garnering most of the Black Friday buzz, but come Saturday, Nov. 26, thousands of small, independently-owned business hope to step into the holiday sales spotlight as part of the second annual Small Business Saturday.
Backed by a coalition that includes American Express and more than 200 advocacy organizations, Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop small businesses in their communities while still cashing in on some deals.
In addition to small retailers offering special promotions or hosting event, American Express offers a $25 statement credit to a limited number of its card members who pre-register their eligible American Express Card on www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday, and then spend at least $25 at a small business on Small Business Saturday with their registered Card. And FedEx distributed 40,000 $25 Shop-Small-branded gift cards through www.facebook.com/Fedex, to drive more business to small retailers on Small Business Saturday. The gift cards were snapped up in less than one hour.
“Last year, independent merchants who accept American Express saw an average boost in sales of 28% on Small Business Saturday,” said Mary Ann Fitzmaurice Reilly, senior vice president at American Express OPEN. “Shoppers sent a clear message that shopping local is an important part of the holiday season and small businesses are rewarding that loyalty with what their customers care about most–superior service, unique selection and some great deals.”
Events Scheduled in 15 Cities on Nov. 26
In fact, last year more than 1.5 million Facebook users, 130 public and private organizations, and 41 elected officials declared their support for Small Business Saturday. More than 100,000 small businesses downloaded marketing materials, 10,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising about Small Business Saturday, and 200,000 consumers registered their American Express cards to receive $25 statement credits.
This year, Small Business Saturday is expected to be even bigger drawing an estimated 89 million consumers, Reilly said.
To help registered cardmembers take full advantage of the $25 statement credit, the Small Business Saturday Facebook page includes a map of small businesses where the card offer is accepted. The interactive map allows consumers to find local businesses and “like” their favorites directly through the “Get Involved” tab. Consumers are encouraged to search for new small businesses in their neighborhoods, give shout-outs to their favorite small businesses, and most importantly, “shop small” on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holidays.
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a nonpartisan organization which educates and advocates on behalf of women-owned businesses, has organized Small Business Saturday events in 15 cities on November 26 to drive even more customers into small businesses.
From holiday celebrations to block parties, the events will take place in: Boston (Roslindale), Charlotte (South End), Chicago (Hyde Park), Cincinnati (Over the Rhine), Fort Worth (Sundance Square), Detroit (Midtown, New Center, Downtown/Business District, Eastern Market), Los Angeles (Culver City), Miami (Coral Gables), New York (TriBeCa), Philadelphia (Manayunk), Scottsdale (The Plaza on South Bridge and Old Farmer’s Market), San Diego (North Park), San Francisco (North Beach), Seattle (Edmonds), and Washington, DC (Adams Morgan).
Shoppers in New York, Chicago and San Francisco can also take advantage of shopping guides found on www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday under the “City Guides” tab on the left side of the page. The deals featured in the guides–sourced by Paper magazine–are for all shoppers, not just those with American Express cards.