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 $103 billion across all 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. This year's Small Business Saturday is November 30, 2019.

    How can I participate?

    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 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 are available to all small merchants to help you promote your business. Visit 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?

    Unfortunately, the application period to become a 2019 Neighborhood Champion has closed. We typically start accepting applications the summer/fall ahead of the upcoming Small Business Saturday.

    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/Plan. 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?

    The application period to become a 2019 Neighborhood Champion has closed. For approved Neighborhood Champions, the key dates for the remainder of the Program are:
    • Mid-October: Event Kits start shipping to approved applicants.
    • November 30: Small Business Saturday®!

    If I am an approved Neighborhood Champion, what are my next steps?

    You should finalize your plans to rally your neighborhood for Small Business Saturday!

    Here are some ways to rally your neighborhood:

    • 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 do I know if my application was 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 was unsuccessful?

    Our Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement Terms of Participation describe the eligibility requirements. The application process to become a 2019 Neighborhood Champion has closed at this point, however, 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®.

    You can also join forces with a Neighborhood Champion in your area to help unite small businesses to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Find a Neighborhood Champion near you on our Neighborhood Champion Listing Page.

    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 to approved 2019 Neighborhood Champions in mid- October. Shortly thereafter, tracking emails will be sent to indicate the kit has shipped. Please allow 4-8 business days to receive your Event Kit, after the tracking email is received.

    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 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 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*. Learn more at 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 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 to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and 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?

    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 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 2018, nearly 17 million people received recommendations on where to shop*. Learn more at 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.

    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.