Amex Small Business Saturday: Boosting Small Community Businesses

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amex small business

Do your local community a favor, and like Amex Small Business Saturday on Facebook now — if you haven’t already. It’s a noble endeavor that not only helps promote small businesses, but also helps sustain the community’s economy. Small business owners are now given a fighting chance through the efforts of all those who support Small Business Saturday.

What’s Small Business Saturday and How did it Start?

You know all about Black Friday and how crazy people can get when queuing up to buy big-box items on that day. And most of you are aware of the great deals you can find online during Cyber Monday. What about the weekend in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Traditionally, the weekend in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been the worst sales period for small stores and local shops. These shops are virtually rendered empty because everyone is lining up at the big stores and malls. As a result, the community gets affected because no one is patronizing the local shops.

To counter this, Small Business Saturday was initiated by credit card giant American Express in 2010 to give small mom-and-pop shops a needed boost during the holiday shopping craze. This shopping event takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, right in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2013, Small Business Saturday fell on the 20th of November.

What American Express does is it gives $100 worth of free Facebook advertising to local small businesses who wish to be part of Small Business Saturday. Not only that, shoppers are given $25 to spend as credit on their Amex card should they purchase from the accredited shops.

In order for a small business to qualify, they must accept American Express credit cards and must have a website, blog or a Facebook fan page that promote their store. And in order to qualify as a small business, they should also be able to show proof that their annual revenue is less than $10 million.

amex small business

How Small Business Saturday is Helping

The AMEX Small Business Saturday’s biggest impact is that it helped spread the word about the plight of small businesses. What American Express did back in 2010 was to spend for advertising on radio, TV, print and online media. These ads reminded consumers of the local stores that operate in their area. Amex drove the message home by bringing attention to these local shops that needed support. They wanted to point out that holiday shopping becomes more meaningful when done in local shops. Not only are they helping their local businessmen, they’re also investing in their community as well.

After running for three years, the Small Business Saturday initiative can be considered a success. Thousands of small business owners have profited from the nationwide media attention they got through the free ads. More and more people have rediscovered the essence of shopping in small local stores again. For sure, these mom-and-pop stores can expect another Small Business Saturday shopping holiday the following year (and the years to come).

Talking about Small Business Saturday’s achievements, in 2010 (just months into its inception) this American Express initiative already received more than a million likes on Facebook. In 2011, the US Senate officially recognized and lauded the initiative for the help it gave to local shop owners. And in 2012, Small Business Saturday generated more than $5 billion for the small businesses under the program.

Making Small Businesses Sustainable

American Express goes the extra mile to help out small businesses. They understand that sustainability is not attained in a single day. For this reason, promotions of small business continue well beyond the Saturday after Thanksgiving. With the free ads in Facebook, small businesses can continuously update their promotions to reach a wider audience. American Express hopes that more businesses join in and that consumer awareness of these businesses increase further.

Amex Small Business Saturday is a great example of a program that gives back to the community. They understand that small businesses are very important to the community—not only for their products and services but also for their contribution to the local economy. Look out for the next Small Business Saturday and go support your local stores.


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