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Small Business Saturday

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Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. In 2018, Small Business Saturday will be November 24. The day is intended to encourage American shoppers to consider small retailers and merchants as they think of their holiday shopping. It comes as an answer to the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November) called Black Friday and the following Monday called Cyber Monday. Both of those days have come to be associated with discounts and promotions at large retail chains and ecommerce businesses. Small Business Saturday is a promotional effort intended to encourage consumers to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.


In 2010, the Small Business Saturday promotion was created and sponsored by American Express, who registered the URL SmallBusinessSaturday.com and registered the trademark for the term Small Business Saturday. The company also created a Facebook page supporting the event [1] and promoted the event with national television advertising and a broad array of public relations activities. As part of the promotion, the first 10,000 small business owners who signed up to participate received $100 worth of free Facebook advertising, and the first 200,000 American Express cardholders who pledged to use their credit cards on Nov. 27 to support small businesses received a $25 credit.[2]

On the American Express website and Facebook page in 2010, credit was given also to the following co-sponsors and endorsers: American Express OPEN, The 3/50 Project, Business Matchmaking, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, Count Me In, Destination DC, E Women Network, Facebook, Girls Inc., Greater Boston Conventional & Visitors Bureau, LA Inc., NAWBO, National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center, NYC & Co., NYC Department of Small Business Services, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, SCORE, Women Impacting Public Policy, Women Presidents' Organization, Women's Leadership Exchange, Yelp.

In 2014, the Small Business Saturday website lists the year's premiere sponsors as FedEx, Four Square, Twitter and the U.S. Postal Service. New promotional aspects of 2014 include an interactive map for participating businesses that accept American Express cards and a promotion that enables American Express card holders to get three $10 credits (total, $30) for use at three small businesses that accept the American Express card.[3]

In 2015, American Express continued to support the promotion, but no other co-sponsors were listed on the website. In 2015, American Express also stopped providing the three $10 credits to card-holders.[4] Also in 2015, American Express produced and ran TV and online commercials promoting Small Business Saturday featuring the Muppets. [5]

Expansion of Small Business Saturday

American Express continued its backing of the promotion in following years. Beginning in 2011, the company offered its cardholders a $25 "statement credit" for purchases a small businesses made on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. To support the promotion, in 2011 American Express produced a television advertising campaign that it ran on network and cable television networks prior to Small Business Saturday[6]. The official American Express promotion gained the endorsement of dozens of small business state and local government agencies, and small business-oriented organizations. Several large corporations that sell products and services to small businesses also provided financial and advertising support.

Shop Small

Beginning in 2013, American Express began to use another trademarked advertising tag line, "Shop Small" in its Small Business Saturday promotions. The tag line enables the company to extend the marketing efforts surrounding Small Business Saturday into other parts of the year.

Neighborhood Champions

In 2013, more than 1,450 individuals and organizations signed up to be Neighborhood Champions and rally their communities with events and activities on the day. By 2016, that number has increased to more than 6,700 Neighborhood Champions — in all 50 states. Business associations, nonprofit trade groups, municipalities and public officials formed a Small Business Saturday Coalition, and nearly 100 corporations lent their official support.

Economic Impact

Through their own promotional efforts and customer outreach, small business owners generate an estimated $15.4 billion dollars on Small Business Saturday in 2016. [7])


  1. Small Business Saturday Facebook Page
  2. Small Business Saturday Facebook Page
  3. SmallBusinessSaturday.com
  4. "Small Business Saturday No Longer Comes with Free Money from AmEx". http://time.com/money/4110506/amex-credit-small-business-saturday-2015/. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  5. "Muppets Go All Out for the 2015 Small Business Saturday - SmallBusiness.com". http://smallbusiness.com/seasonal/small-business-saturday-2015/. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  6. American Express Shop Small commercial
  7. The statistic cited is an estimate based on projections from a nationally representative sample of adult consumers as reported in the 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by AMEX and the National Federation of Independent Business. The survey gathered self-reported data and does not reflect actual receipts or sales. Source: American Express

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