Frequently Asked
Questions

  • What is Shop Small®?

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

    Small Business Saturday – a special day when we can show support as a nation for small business owners and communities – helps fuel the Shop Small movement and is the cornerstone of American Express Shop Small efforts.

    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. Learn more at ShopSmall.com/About

    When is Small Business Saturday?

    Small Business Saturday is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 24, 2018.

    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 communities you call your own.

    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, 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. Want to get even more involved? See below for details on how to become a Neighborhood Champion.

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

    Sign up to stay connected and get year-round Shop Small resources, and check back later in the year to find out more about how to prepare for Small Business Saturday.

    If you are a qualifying American Express® Card accepting small merchant, you can unlock additional value. Learn more 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, please feel free to call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.
  • Who can be a Corporate Supporter?

    Medium and large-sized companies, typically with 150 employees or more, are eligible to become Corporate Supporters. You can find the full list of 2017 Corporate Supporters at Shopsmall.com/Supporters.

    What does a Corporate Supporter do?

    A Corporate Supporter values the role that small businesses play in local communities nationwide. As a Corporate Supporter, you show your support for the small business community and help business owners get ready for Small Business Saturday®.

    If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Supporter, visit ShopSmall.com in late summer for updates.

    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 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.
  • What is a Neighborhood Champion?

    Neighborhood Champions are business associations, state and local chambers of commerce, small business and other community organizers who are willing to commit to organizing events or activities to rally their neighborhoods for 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, the local businesses that you will engage, and your plans to host an event/activity especially on Small Business Saturday. Just be sure your submission complies with the 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 Terms of Participation for more details.

    What are key dates for the Program in 2018?

    June 27: Program launch, application opens; you can expect to receive an email regarding your application status within 2 weeks of submitting your application.

    November 6: Application period ends

    June 28 – November 6: 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 24: 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 Terms of Participation for more details.

    What types of businesses qualify for my Neighborhood Champion submission?

    Please be sure to list the names of 10 qualifying small businesses in your local area. Please refer to the Qualifying Small Business Criteria section of the 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 event you’ll organize to rally your community for Small Business Saturday. Be sure to include details about how the 10 qualifying small businesses you will rally will participate in your event on the day. Please refer to the Plan Criteria section of the Terms of Participation for more details.

    What can I do to rally my Neighborhood for Small Business Saturday?

    Host an event: organize an event for your community like a block party, a street fair, a scavenger hunt or a special breakfast to mobilize shoppers for the day. Reach out to your local government and let them know what you're planning!

    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 spirit around your town with Small Business Saturday decorations including banners and balloons with special tote bags for attendees.

    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 event. Think about people who are celebrities around town and invite them to participate.

    Involve local businesses: invite local businesses to set up pop-up shops or tables to promote their goods and services. Design the event to drive consumers into their stores by encouraging business owners to offer special promotions on the day.

    Promote your event: spread the word to your local media and encourage the press to attend and cover the event. Invite a local radio station to send radio personalities to attend, set up a table or play music. You can also sign up for free downloadable materials on ShopSmall.com. And don’t forget to promote on social media and spread the word around your town!

    What are some important considerations for holding an event?

    Access: can people get there by public transportation? Is parking available? Would it be possible to offer free parking? How do you get media there? Should you give media advance access?

    Foot traffic: how much foot traffic does the area get? Is it a neighborhood that typically empties out over a holiday weekend?

    Logistics: is it an area that will be too crowded on a holiday weekend for the type of event you’re planning? Are you going to have enough room to set up all of the events and activities that you’ve 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 green, where the location itself could be part of the draw?

    Weather: if all or part of your event will be outdoors, do you have a contingency plan for bad weather?

    Promotion: have you informed local business owners that they too can host an event and participate in the day? You can come up with suggestions for them on your own or encourage them to get more information and sign up for free downloadable materials on ShopSmall.com.

    How will I know if my application has been received?

    Immediately after you submit your request, you will see a page confirming it has been received, and you will receive an email acknowledging receipt. Within 2 weeks of submitting your request, you will receive an email with the status of your application.

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

    Our American Express Shop Small Marketing Program Terms of Participation describe the eligibility criteria for who may receive an Event Kit. Check the Terms of Participation to see eligibility requirements. You can reapply to become a Neighborhood Champion, but you still need to meet the Terms of Participation in your submission. If you do not wish to reapply to participate as a Neighborhood Champion, you can still participate by visiting Studio to download free marketing materials to support small businesses in your community on Small Business Saturday.

    Can I save my application and finish it later?

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

    What materials are included in the Event Kit?

    Merchandise such as tote bags, posters, balloons, stickers and more are included in the Event Kit, which 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 begin shipping around mid-October to approved Neighborhood Champions. If your application is approved, you will receive a tracking email indicating your order has shipped. Once you receive the tracking email, please allow 4–8 business days to receive the Event Kit.

    Do I need to pay for the Event Kit?

    No, the Event Kits are complimentary.

    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 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.
  • How can you participate as a small business owner?

    We know attracting more customers is important to you all year round—so it's important to us. Create your marketing materials in the Shop Small Studio®. Additionally, qualifying American Express Card- accepting small businesses can be recommended in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map—all for free, because we don't just have your back, we're on your side. In 2017, over 15 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 an analysis of American Express merchant recommendations in 2017.

    What resources are available to small business owners?

    As a small business owner with an online presence or physical location, 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 by:

    • Downloading Shop Small® marketing materials from the Shop Small Studio®.
    • Receive year-round updates by going to ShopSmall.com and inputting your email address to Stay Connected at the bottom of the page.
    • Learning how to make the most of these materials and build on the Small Business Saturday® momentum, with Small Business Saturday 101, which features bite-sized, how-to videos and articles from those in the know.

    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 all year round—so it's important to us. As a qualifying American Express Card- accepting small business, you can be recommended in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map—all for free, because we don't just have your back, we're on your side. In 2017, over 15 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 an analysis of American Express merchant recommendations in 2017.

    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 you want their 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 Shop Small Map by reviewing the qualification criteria in the merchant-specific FAQs. If you are a qualifying merchant, to help ensure that your business location(s) has been included and is listed correctly on the 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?

    You can explore the Shop Small® Studio for free marketing materials that you can use to help promote your business; however, business owners are responsible for the cost of printing certain 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, as a small business owner, we know attracting more customers is important to you all year round—so it's important to us. As a qualifying American Express Card- accepting small business, you can be recommended in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map—all for free, because we don't just have your back, we're on your side. In 2017, over 15 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 an analysis of American Express merchant recommendations in 2017.

    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 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.