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 throughout the year, you’re showing your support for the small 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 $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined*.

    2019 marks the 10th annual Small Business Saturday. You can get out and support the places you love with the people you love on Nov 30.

    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. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 30, 2019.

    How can I participate?

    Anyone can support Small Business Saturday simply by shopping small on the day. 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 at ShopSmallNow.com.

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

    As an American Express® Card accepting small merchant, explore the Promote Your Business section of American Express’ Small Business Resource Center for tips and inspiration on how to promote your business year-round.

    A number of resources, including the Shop Small Studio will be available in early October to all small merchants to help you prepare for Small Business Saturday. These can also be found on the Special Programs section of the American Express’ Small Business Resource Center.

    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 and organize events in their communities to celebrate Small Business Saturday®.

    How do I become a Neighborhood Champion?

    To become a Neighborhood Champion, visit ShopSmall.com/Rally. You’ll be asked to provide some information about yourself, your organization, and your organization's plans to host an event/activity, particularly on Small Business Saturday®. Just be sure your submission complies with the Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation.

    What resources are available to me as a Neighborhood Champion?

    Small Business Saturday® Event Guides are available to anyone participating in Small Business Saturday 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 inspired by past Neighborhood Champions. Neighborhood Champions will also receive a Small Business Saturday Event Kit with Shop Small®-branded merchandise such as tote bags, posters, balloons, stickers and more, which can be used for events to help their community celebrate the day.

    The Small Business Saturday 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 2019?

    • October 1: Program launch, application opens; you can expect to receive an email regarding your organization’s application status within 2 weeks of submitting your application.
    • November 7: Application period ends.
    • October 1 – November 7: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; however, Event Kits do not start shipping until mid-October.
    • Mid-October: Event Kits start shipping to approved applicants.
    • November 30: Small Business Saturday®!

    Where do I go to sign up or learn more?

    ShopSmall.com/Rally (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?

    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 type of plan do I have to include in my Neighborhood Champion submission?

    Please provide a summary that describes the way your organization will engage their members for Small Business Saturday®. Be sure to include details about how the small businesses in your community will participate in your organization's event on the day. Please refer to the Plan 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®?

    • Host an event: engage your small businesses by organizing an event for the community like a block party, a street fair, a scavenger hunt or a special breakfast to help mobilize shoppers on the day. Reach out to your local government officials to let them know how your organization is planning to celebrate with the community!
    • Provide entertainment and activities to draw people to attend: get a local band or DJ to play music, organize activities like face painting or a costume contest, or set up a photo booth on-site to make for family fun!
    • Make it easy for people to get to your event: arrange for free parking to be provided in your community or free transportation to your event, so more people are able to attend.
    • 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 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 attend and cover the community event. Invite a local radio station to send radio personalities to attend. 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?

    • Access: can people get there by public transportation? Is parking available? Would it be possible to offer free parking?
    • Foot traffic: how much foot traffic does the area get? Is it a neighborhood that typically empties out over a holiday weekend? How do you get media there to help spread the word? Should you give media advance access?
    • Logistics: is it an area that will be too crowded on a holiday weekend for the type of event your organization is planning? Are you going to have enough room to set up all of the events and activities that your organization has planned? Is there adequate space for the press and any performers?
    • Appeal: is there a location in your community that has particular significance, like a town square or community park, where the location itself could be part of the draw?
    • Weather: if all or part of your organization's event will be outdoors; do you have a contingency plan for bad weather?
    • 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®.

    Can I save my application and finish it later?

    Yes, your organization may use the “Save, and Finish Later” function in the form if you are not ready to submit it once you start the application process. You will be sent an email notification reminding you to go back and finish your application.

    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, balloons, stickers, and more. These items can be used for events to help your community celebrate the day. The Small Business Saturday® Event 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 around mid- October. 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, 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. We make it easy to create custom marketing materials in the Shop Small® Studio.

    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, like in-store signage, social media posts, email templates, and more, compliments of American Express. Business owners are responsible for the cost of printing certain marketing materials.

    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 year, 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 2018, nearly 17 million people received recommendations on where to shop*. All you need to do is ensure your business is up-to-date. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com/marketing.

    *Based on Amex recommendations made throughout 2018. 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.

    Can online businesses get free marketing materials?

    Yes! Visit the Shop Small® Studio 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.

    How can you include your business location(s) on the 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 to your merchant account here to review and update your customer-facing information. Make sure to check the box next to "Get free exposure for your business." Allow your public information to be seen on our map and other marketing channels.

    Are there program costs associated with the materials?

    In the Shop Small® Studio, you can find free downloadable marketing materials to help promote your business, however, business owners are responsible for the cost of printing 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 get even more. All you need to do is ensure your business is up-to-date. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com/marketing.

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

    You can learn more about becoming an American Express® Card-accepting small merchant at OptBlue.com. Your rate could be lower than you think, thanks to OptBlue. Now you can shop around or work with your Merchant Service Provider to help find a great rate for your business. Learn more at OptBlue.com.

    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.

shop small® kits

  • How can you request a Shop Small® Kit?

    You can request a Shop Small® Kit by visiting the Shop Small® Studio, while supplies last. After you create your downloadable marketing materials, just click on “Request a Shop Small® Kit.” The Shop Small® Kit includes merchandise like buttons, tote bags, stickers, pens, and more, to help your business stand out on Nov30 and keep the movement alive all year round. Apply by 11/7/19. Contents may vary. Please see Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use for additional details.

    What is included in the Shop Small® Kit?

    The Shop Small® Kit may include buttons, tote bags, stickers, pens, and more, to help you get ready for Small Business Saturday® and keep the movement alive all year long. The Shop Small® Kit is available while supplies last. Limit 1 order per eligible business. Contents may vary. To receive a Shop Small® Kit, you must be an eligible small business. Apply by 11/7/19. Please see Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use for additional details.

    Who is eligible for a Shop Small® Kit?

    Be sure to check the Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use for the American Express® Shop Small Marketing Program to see if you’re eligible to receive merchandise

    Can online businesses get a Shop Small® Kit?

    Yes! You’ll be able to request a Shop Small® Kit after you create your downloadable marketing materials in the Shop Small® Studio.

    How many Shop Small® Kits can you order? Can you order more Shop Small merchandise? Can you order more kits if you have more than one business location?

    There is a limit of one approved order per eligible business, regardless of number of business locations. You should apply by 11/7/19 but given supplies are limited, the earlier you complete the application the better. Please see Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use for additional details.

    Do you need to pay for the Shop Small® Kit?

    No, Shop Small® Kits are free!

    Do you need to pay for shipping?

    No, there is no shipping or handling charge for a Shop Small® Kit.

    How will you know if your request has been received?

    Immediately after you submit your request, you will see a page confirming it has been received.

    How will you know if your request for merchandise has been approved?

    Within 7-10 business days of submitting your request, you will be sent an email with the status of your application and confirmation that merchandise is still available.

    What if you receive an email saying your request for a Shop Small Kit did not satisfy the Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use?

    Our American Express Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use describe the eligibility criteria for who may receive a Shop Small® Kit. Check the Shop Small® Marketing Materials for Merchants Terms of Use to see eligibility requirements.

    What should you do if you don’t see the page confirming receipt of your request, or you don’t receive a confirmation email within 24 hours?

    If you don’t see the confirmation page or you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours, please check your email spam folder. If you still have not received a confirmation email, then you may not have completed the submission process. Please go back and try to submit your request again. At that point, you will either see a confirmation page or a message indicating that we already received your request.

    What if you haven’t received your tracking email?

    If you received a confirmation email that your request was approved, but do not receive an email indicating your order has shipped, please contact us at 1-833-213-0506.

    When should you expect to receive a Shop Small® Kit?

    Shop Small® Kits begin shipping mid-October. If your request is approved, you should receive a tracking email that indicates that a Shop Small® Kit has been shipped to you approximately 1-3 weeks after your order is submitted. Once you receive the tracking email, please allow 4–8 business days to receive the Shop Small® Kit.

    What if you haven’t received a Shop Small® Kit after more than four weeks of submitting your request?

    If you received a confirmation email from us indicating we received your request or that your request was approved, and you haven’t received a Shop Small® Kit, please contact us at 1-833-213-0506.

    What if you still have a question?

    If you didn’t find what you were looking for, you can reach out by email at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com or by phone at 1-833-213-0506, 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday.