I am inspired by the incredible participation by small businesses, shoppers and more than 130 advocacy groups, public and private organizations, and elected officials who joined American Express in supporting the first Small Business Saturday. This year’s inaugural day, held Nov. 27, saw an estimated 27 percent increase in sales among small business retailers, as compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.1
I want to thank all of you who embraced this movement. More than 100,000 small business owners downloaded materials from the Facebook page, and 10,000 signed up and received free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services. And consumers and business owners alike showed their support via Facebook. Thanks to the more than 1 million people who “liked” Small Business Saturday, American Express is donating $1 million to Girls, Inc., an organization that empowers young women to become entrepreneurs.
We launched Small Business Saturday because we heard from small business owners like you that your most pressing need is getting more sales from customers. A boost in holiday sales helps, but we all can do more to raise awareness about the role small businesses play in our communities. We know how critical small business is to economy, creating 65 percent of net new jobs over the past two decades. Small Business also keeps our communities vital with $68 of every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores returning to the community in the form of taxes, payroll and other expenditures.2
So this is just the beginning. Small Business Saturday kicked-off what we see as a movement to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. And to help sustain the momentum, American Express has extended through Dec. 31 the $25 credit for those who shop small on enrolled Cards.3 So let’s keep that traffic going!
Learn more about the success of Small Business Saturday – and how you can continue to support generate awareness throughout the year – by visitingfacebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday. And, if you have a story about how your business participated in Small Business Saturday, either share it below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Based on preliminary American Express spending data as of December 2 from small retailers that accept American Express Cards: “Small retailers” include any independently owned small businesses that accept American Express Cards in retail industries such as industries such as apparel, bikes, books, electronics and florists. Online-only retailers, large, national chains, franchised business locations and government agencies are not included in this subset of the overall American Express merchant base.
2 Civics Economics, “The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics”.
3 Register Card Statement Credit: To be eligible for the statement credit offer, you must be one of the first 100,000 Cardmembers to register your eligible American Express Card at smallbusinesssaturday.com between Nov. 8, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. See additional terms & conditions.