Frequently Asked
Questions

general

  • What is Shop Small®?

    Shop Small is a nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive and stay vibrant.

    Why should I participate in the Shop Small Movement?

    As a consumer, you’re a key part in helping small businesses thrive. By shopping or dining at small businesses in your community, you’re showing support for the businesses in your neighborhood and in the community, you call your own.

    What is Small Business Saturday®?

    Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Since it started in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $120 billion across all 10 Small Business Saturdays combined*.

    You can learn more about the history of Small Business Saturday here.

    *This spend statistic is an aggregate of the average spend as reported by consumers in surveys commissioned by American Express reporting spend habits on Small Business Saturday of consumers who were aware of the day. It does not reflect actual receipts or sales. Each such survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The surveys had an overall margin of error of between +/- 2.0% and +/- 5.47%, at the 95% level of confidence. The data was projected from the samples based on then-current U.S. Census estimates of the U.S. adult population (18+).

    When is Small Business Saturday?

    Small Business Saturday is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. The next Small Business Saturday will be on November 28, 2020.

    How can I participate (in Small Business Saturday)?

    You can Shop Small all year-long. Get up, get out and shop or dine at a local small business, invite friends to shop with you, find a new spot online, or share on your social networks where you #ShopSmall. Find new small businesses in your community through the American Express Shop Small Map (or Shop Small Online Directory).

    What resources are available to me as a small business owner?

    As an American Express® Card accepting small merchant, the Shop Small Resources Site is your go-to source for tips and inspiration to help you promote your business year-round. Visit the Special Programs section to access the Shop Small® Studio or explore the Promote Your Business section to learn more about other resources to connect your business to American Express® Card Members.

    If your business is not on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory, follow the detailed instructions on the Shop Small Map FAQs.

    Please note, you may be responsible for the costs of printing these marketing materials.

    I have a question that isn’t addressed by the FAQs on this page. Where can I go for help?

    If the FAQs on this page do not address your questions, please feel free to call our Shop Small® servicing center at 1-833-213-0506. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

neighborhood champions

  • What is a Neighborhood Champion?

    Neighborhood Champions are business associations, state and local chambers of commerce and other community organizations who serve as Shop Small® ambassadors to spread awareness on the importance of shopping small to support small businesses. In the past, Neighborhood Champions have organized events in their communities to celebrate Small Business Saturday®. In light of COVID-19, any events should follow local government health and safety guidelines. The health and safety of consumers and businesses are priority.

    What do Neighborhood Champions do?

    As a Neighborhood Champion, you can help unite shoppers and small businesses in your community. Visit our Neighborhood Champion page to download materials and other resources to help promote the Shop Small® movement year-round.

    How can Neighborhood Champions continue to support small businesses year-round?

    Shop Small® is a global movement proudly backed by American Express to support and celebrate small businesses year-round.

    Currently, American Express recognizes that small businesses and local communities need our support now more than ever to help them navigate the challenges caused by the pandemic. To help support small businesses during this time we will continue to periodically update ShopSmall.com with various resources for Neighborhood Champions to help support the small businesses in their communities all year-round.

    How do I become a Neighborhood Champion?

    Unfortunately, the application period to become a 2020 Neighborhood Champion has closed. We typically start accepting applications the summer/fall ahead of the upcoming Small Business Saturday.

    If you applied to the Neighborhood Champion program and feel that you have been declined for the wrong reason, please contact the Shop Small servicing center to discuss. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    Is it okay if I connect with a 2020 Neighborhood Champion?

    Yes! Feel free to connect with any of the 2020 Neighborhood Champions through their provided link here. However, we cannot guarantee that they will respond to your message.

    What resources are available to me as a Neighborhood Champion?

    Shop Small Digital Event Guides are available to anyone planning Small Business Saturday or holiday season activities, and can be found on ShopSmall.com/Rally. In addition, Neighborhood Champions will receive periodic countdown emails filled with helpful planning tips and resources that are appropriate for this COVID-19 time. Neighborhood Champions will also receive a Shop Small® Event Kit with Shop Small-branded merchandise such as tote bags, stickers, signage and more, which can be used to encourage the community to support small businesses and shop safely.

    The Shop Small Event Kits are complimentary and available while supplies last. Event Kit contents may vary. See full Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation for more details.

    What are key dates for the Program in 2020?

    • End of October: Event Kits start shipping to approved applicants.
    • November 28: Small Business Saturday®!

    Where do I go to sign up or learn more?

    ShopSmall.com/Rally-Signup (for Neighborhood Champion application)

    ShopSmall.com (for general information about Small Business Saturday®)

    How do I find out if I’m eligible to become a Neighborhood Champion?

    Community organizations focused on the support of small businesses are eligible to participate In the Neighborhood Champion program. If you represent a community organization such as a local business association or chamber of commerce, and would like to serve as an Shop Small® ambassador to help spread awareness of the importance of shopping small in your community – then we encourage you to learn more and consider applying for the program. Applications are open annually in advance of Small Business Saturday.

    Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria section of the Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation for more details.

    What can I do to rally my organization’s community for Small Business Saturday®?

    • Provide small businesses with ideas for safe digital experiences. Ideas Include:
      • White Elephant Gift Guide: Encourage small business owners to create a gift guide by grouping their quirkiest Items into one central place on their website. This is a great way to market their existing Inventory for the holidays.
      • Holidays Party Kits: Rally small business owners to create pre-made kits featuring everything shoppers might need to host a virtual holiday party at home. These kits could Include supplies for decorating holiday cookies or creating DIY holiday cards or ingredients for cooking their holiday meal at home.
      • Holiday Countdown Campaign: Team up with local small business owners to help shoppers countdown to the holidays — starting on Small Business Saturday®. Customers who sign up can receive a daily email with a unique discount code or gift with purchase opportunity.
    • Decorate: show your organization's spirit with Small Business Saturday decorations including banners and pennants as well as special Shop Small tote bags for shoppers.
    • Invite local officials and other local celebrities to participate in your virtual or socially distanced event: reach out to the mayor, councilperson, or other local officials to attend your organization's event. Think about people who are celebrities around town and invite them to participate.
    • Promote your organization's event: spread the word to your local media and encourage the press to cover the community event. You can also download free marketing materials on the Shop Small Studio. And don’t forget to promote the day and movement on social media and spread the word around your organization's town!

    What are some important considerations for holding a community event?

    • Safety: Ensure the plans you have include thoughts around how you'll get small businesses to participate while also adhering to social distancing guidelines.
    • Promotion: have you informed all of your organization's business owners that they too can participate in the day? You can come up with suggestions for them on your own or encourage them to download free marketing materials on the Shop Small Studio.

    How will I know if my application has been received?

    Immediately after you submit your organization's request to become a Neighborhood Champion, you will see a page confirming it has been received, and you will be sent an email acknowledging receipt. Within 2 weeks of submitting your request, you will be sent an email with the status of your application.

    What if I receive an email saying my application did not satisfy the terms of participation?

    Our Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation describe the eligibility requirements. Your organization can reapply to become a Neighborhood Champion, but will still need to comply with the Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation. If your organization does not wish to reapply to participate as a Neighborhood Champion, your community can still participate by visiting the Shop Small Studio to download free marketing materials to support the small businesses in your community on Small Business Saturday®.

    If you applied to the Neighborhood Champion program and feel that you have been declined for the wrong reason, please contact the Shop Small servicing center to discuss. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    What materials are included in the Event Kit?

    The contents of the Event Kit vary each year. This year’s Event Kit includes tote bags, posters, stickers, and more. These items can be used for events to help your community celebrate the day. The Shop Small Kits are complimentary and available while supplies last. Event Kit contents may vary.

    When should I expect to receive the Event Kit?

    Event Kits will begin shipping late October to early November, depending on when you are approved. We will send you a tracking email indicating the kit has shipped.

    Do I need to pay for the Event Kit?

    No, the Event Kits are complimentary for approved Neighborhood Champions.

    Do I need to pay for the shipping of the Event Kit?

    No, there is no shipping or handling charge for the Event Kit.

    I have a question that isn’t addressed by the FAQs on this page. Where can I go for help?

    If the FAQs on this page do not address your questions, or you feel that you have been declined for the wrong reason, please feel free to call our Shop Small® servicing center at 1-833-213-0506. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

small business owners

  • How can I participate as a small business owner?

    Invite your customers to Shop Small® with you and help attract new customers. As an American Express® Card accepting small merchant, the Shop Small Resources Site is your go-to source for tips and inspiration to help you promote your business year-round. Visit the Special Programs section to access the Shop Small® Studio or explore the Promote Your Business section to learn more about other resources to connect your business to American Express® Card Members.

    Please note, you may be responsible for the costs of printing these marketing materials.

    Small business owners may contact our servicing center to request a merchandise kit, available while supplies last for eligible small businesses. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    What resources are available to small business owners?

    As a small business owner with a physical or online presence, you can enjoy tools and resources to help you promote your business year-round. Visit American Express’ Shop Small Resources Site for ideas and inspiration, and to download marketing materials from the Shop Small® Studio like in-store signage, social media posts, email templates, and more, which can be used throughout the year to show shoppers they can Shop Small at your business.

    You can help attract even more customers to your business year-round:
    Download Shop Small® marketing materials from the Shop Small® Studio. Learn how to make the most of these materials and build on the nationwide momentum of Small Business Saturday® by visiting American Express’ Small Business Resource Center for more ideas and inspiration, featuring bite-sized videos from small business owners.

    These materials can be used throughout the holiday season, and especially on Small Business Saturday®, to show shoppers they can Shop Small at your business.

    Additionally, we know attracting more customers is important to you—so it's important to us. As a qualifying American Express® Card accepting small business, you can be recommended in emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small® Map — all for free. In 2019, over 15 million people received recommendations on where to shop*. Update your business listing so that we can send Card Members to the right place. Learn more at americanexpress.com/marketing.

    Small business owners may contact our servicing center to request a merchandise kit, available while supplies last for eligible small businesses. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    *Based on Amex recommendations made throughout 2019. Amex cannot guarantee your business will appear in a search on American Express Maps. Merchants are displayed via the American Express Maps, Americanexpress.com, and email.

    How can you request a Shop Small® Kit?

    We have a limited supply of Shop Small merchandise kits available. If you have further questions specifically about Shop Small merchandise kits, please contact servicing directly at 1-833-213-0506 (9am to 6pm ET, M-F) or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    Can online businesses get free marketing materials?

    Yes! Visit the Shop Small Resources Site to download marketing materials for your site and find out more.

    Additionally, American Express® Card-accepting small businesses can help drive sales by displaying American Express digital decals to show potential customers that their Card is welcomed at your business. Order free signage now at americanexpress.com/signage.

    Small business owners may contact our servicing center to request a merchandise kit, available while supplies last for eligible small businesses. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    How can you include your business location(s) on the American Express Shop Small® Map?

    First, determine if your business location(s) qualifies to be included on the American Express Shop Small® Map by reviewing the qualification criteria in the merchant FAQs. If you are a qualifying merchant, to help ensure that your business location(s) has been included and is listed correctly on the American Express Shop Small Map, log in here to review and update your customer-facing information. Make sure to check the box next to “Check here to have your business displayed on the Shop Small Map”. This allows your public information to be seen on the Map and in other marketing channels. Then click the “Save” button after making changes in each portion of your location details.

    Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

    Are there program costs associated with the materials?

    The Shop Small Map, recommendations to Card Members, complimentary signs & supplies, and digital marketing materials such as social media posts and email templates are all available for free to help promote your business. Business owners are only responsible for the cost of printing any downloaded marketing materials.

    Do you need to be an American Express® Card Member or accept the American Express® Card to get free marketing materials?

    No, you do not need to be an American Express® Card Member or accept American Express® Cards to get free downloadable marketing materials in the Shop Small® Studio.

    However, qualifying American Express® Card-accepting small businesses can get even more. You can be recommended in emails to Card Members, in their online accounts and within search results on the Shop Small® Map — all for free. In 2019, over 15 million people received recommendations on where to shop*. All you have to do is update your business listing so that we can send Card Members to the right place. Learn more at americanexpress.com/marketing.

    Small business owners may contact our servicing center to request a merchandise kit, available while supplies last for eligible small businesses. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday, at 1-833-213-0506 or at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

    *Based on Amex recommendations made throughout 2019. Amex cannot guarantee your business will appear in a search on American Express Maps. Merchants are displayed via the American Express Maps, Americanexpress.com, and email.

    Where can you go to learn more about becoming an American Express merchant?

    You can learn more about becoming an American Express® Card-accepting merchant at AmericanExpress.com/AcceptTheCard. Eligible small businesses can accept through a Payment Provider, which sets the rate for card acceptance or you can accept directly through American Express. Learn more about the two ways to accept card payments online and in store today at AmericanExpress.com/AcceptTheCard.

    What are the grants for Black business owners and how can I apply?

    The grant program application launches each Fall from 2020 through 2023. The Fall 2020 application period has ended. Eligible businesses who were not selected are encouraged to apply again over the next 3 years. To learn more please visit here.

    I have a question that isn’t addressed by the FAQs on this page. Where can I go for help?

    If the FAQs on this page do not address your questions, or you would like to request a merchandise kit which are available while supplies last for eligible small businesses, please feel free to call our Shop Small® servicing center at 1-833-213-0506. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.