The ICSC Blog

‘Small Business Saturday’ event to drive traffic into mom-and-pop shops this weekend

American Express is once again teaming up with small retailers nationwide to encourage consumers to shop on Small Business Saturday this Nov. 26. During last year’s event, small retailers reported a sales surge. “Last year, we saw a 28 percent rise in sales volumes for our small business merchants versus the same day in 2009,” said Mary Ann Fitzmaurice Reilly, senior vice president of American Express’ OPEN card for small businesses. “An all-star line-up of partners is coming together to provide the tools to help make this year even more impactful for small business owners throughout the country.”

American Express launched the Small Business Saturday event in 2010 to help address small businesses’ greatest need: driving sales. It was also an occasion to recognize the importance of small business and their vital contributions to the economy, job creation, and local communities. The national initiative encourages consumers to shop at small businesses during the holiday season. All small businesses, not just those that use or accept American Express, are able to participate. A total of 1.5 million Facebook users, 130 public and private organizations, and 41 elected officials declared their support for the program last year. More than 100,000 small businesses downloaded Small Business Saturday marketing materials, 10,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising that ran on Small Business Saturday, and 200,000 consumers registered their American Express cards to receive $25 statement credits when they shopped at a small business on Small Business Saturday.

Several different businesses and organizations are stepping up to make this year’s Small Business Saturday a success. For its part, FedEx is distributing 40,000 $25 gift cards for use at small businesses on November 26. A total of 30,000 gift cards are available, first-come-first-serve, beginning November 1 here. American Express is also offering $25 worth of credit to cardmembers who spend $25 or more on Small Business Saturday at any qualifying small business that accepts the American Express Card.

Facebook, Google and Twitter are supporting the cause by offering a free toolkit designed to help small business owners that includes $100 in free Facebook advertising to the first 10,000 business owners who sign up, free acess to My Business Story, a tool for creating and posting personalized, professional-quality videos for YouTube, social networks and business websites, free LinkedIn advertising and other features. The toolkit also includes downloadable, point-of-purchase displays for small businesses to let customers know they are involved in the initiative.

For more information on Small Business Saturday, click here.

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