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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.

Make an Impact This Holiday Season – And All Year Long

You might not realize it, but every time
you pick up a cup of coffee from your
favorite neighborhood cafe or buy a gift
from a local artist's online store, you're
shopping small and making a difference.
In fact, 62% of U.S. small businesses reported that they need to see
consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in
order to stay in business.* When you Shop Small® this holiday
season – and all year long – you can help create a big impact.

Small Adds Up This Holiday Season – And All Year Long

We’re committed to helping small businesses stay in business. In 2020 alone, American Express spent approximately $200 million on initiatives to support small businesses around the globe. And when you Shop Small®, the dollars you spend at a local business in your community can add up, too.

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.