The story of the Shop Small® Movement

The Beginning

American Express cares deeply about
thriving communities and believes small
businesses are at the core of every
successful neighborhood. That's why — in
the midst of the recession in 2010 — we
created Small Business Saturday® on the
Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage
people to Shop Small and bring more
holiday shopping to small businesses.
Map outline of the United States Map outline of the United States

NationWide Momentum

The first Small Business Saturday is a success. One year later, as
the Shop Small Movement gains momentum, local officials
across the nation take notice and move to promote the day.
In 2011, the Senate unanimously
passes a resolution in support of
the day, and officials in all 50
states participate. It even gets a
shout-out from the president of
the United States.

Local Support

In an effort to support their local
communities, organizations across the
country sign up to serve as
Neighborhood Champions. These
supporters bring their community
together with events and activities on
Small Business Saturday and
throughout the year.
They're not alone. In 2011, business associations, nonprofit trade
groups, municipalities, and public officials start to unite, forming a
Small Business Saturday Coalition to encourage everyone to
Shop Small.

Making an Impact

You might not realize it, but every time
you take a yoga class at your
neighborhood spot or buy a gift from the
local artist down the street, you're
shopping small and making a difference.

In fact, for every dollar spent at a small
business in the U.S., approximately
67 cents stays in the local community.1
So when you Shop Small on
Small Business Saturday—and all year
long — you can help create a big impact.


In 2019, shoppers came together to support
their local communities more than ever. The
10th Annual Small Business Saturday hit a
record high with an estimated $19.6 billion in
reported spending.2

The Movement

Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition — just one part of the larger
Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses every day and everywhere.
Because shopping at a family-owned framing spot or buying a handmade
ring from your favorite online small business helps to promote more
vibrant communities.
That's why American Express is proud to back Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small Movement.