The story of the Shop Small® Movement

Shoppers, small businesses, and civic leaders come together to support small businesses
and help their communities thrive.

The Shop Small Movement belongs to all
of us, and we're just getting started.





2014 - 2018


- 2018


The Beginning
It’s 2010, and small businesses are hurting from an economy in recession.
In an effort to support local shops that make
our communities strong, American Express
launches Small Business Saturday® on the
Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage
people to Shop Small and bring more holiday
shopping to small businesses.
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NationWide Momentum
One year later, as the Shop Small Movement gains momentum
local officials across the nation take notice and promote
Small Business Saturday.
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 2013, more than 1,400 individuals
and organizations sign up as
Neighborhood Champions to rally their
communities with events and activities
on Small Business Saturday — and that
number continues to grow.
By 2018, there were more than 7,500 Neighborhood
Champions across all 50 states.
They're not alone. Beginning in 2011, business associations,
nonprofit trade groups, municipalities, and public officials started
to unite, forming a Small Business Saturday Coalition to
encourage everyone to Shop Small. And nearly 100
corporations lend their official support to the movement.
Neighborhood Champions in 2018
Making an Impact
In 2018, U.S. consumers reported spending a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. Over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010 — that's $103 billion over 9 days alone.1
As shopping small catches on in communities everywhere,
Small Business Saturday goes from a cause to a day of
community celebration.
96% of consumers who reported shopping on Small Business Saturday said the day makes them want to Shop Small all year long, not just during the holiday season.2
The Movement
Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition — just one part of the
larger Shop Small Movement to support small businesses every day and everywhere.
Because a visit to the family-owned framing shop or a stop
at the neighborhood taco truck not only supports our local
economies, it promotes more vibrant communities.
That's why American Express is proud to back Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small Movement.