Frequently Asked
Questions

general

  • What is Shop Small®?

    Shop Small is a nationwide movement that celebrates small businesses every day and helps 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 and U.S. consumers have reported spending an estimated $85 Billion+* at independent retailers and restaurants over these eight days alone. In 2018, you can get out and support the places you love with the people you love on Nov 24.

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

    * The spend statistic is an aggregate of the average spend, as reported by consumers, in surveys commissioned by American Express reporting spending 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 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.

    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. For more information on resources available to small business, please see the Small Business Owners section of the FAQ’s. If you are a qualifying American Express® Card accepting small merchant, we can help attract more customers and unlock additional value. Learn more here.

    What role does American Express play in Small Business Saturday®?

    In 2010, American Express founded the day. Today, American Express provides materials for supporters and businesses to attract support for Small Business Saturday, in addition to offering ways for consumers to stay engaged with the small businesses in the community.

    What is a small business?

    Small businesses are generally independently-owned and can exist in a variety of forms including, but not limited to, corner stores, online boutiques, among many others. They can give a neighborhood strength and create vibrant, diverse communities.

    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.

corporate supporter

  • What is a Corporate Supporter?

    A Corporate Supporter is a medium to large company that wants to show its support for small businesses. It is authorized by American Express to promote Small Business Saturday® in its marketing channels to its customers, employees, and communities.

    Who is eligible to be a Corporate Supporter?

    Medium and large sized companies are eligible to become Corporate Supporters.

    How do I become a Corporate Supporter?

    Unfortunately, the application period to become a 2018 Corporate Supporter has closed. We typically start accepting applications in late summer for the upcoming Small Business Saturday.

    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 ET 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, small businesses and other community organizers who commit to organizing events or activities to rally their neighborhoods on Small Business Saturday®.

    How do I become a Neighborhood Champion?

    Unfortunately, the application period to become a 2018 Neighborhood Champion has closed. We typically start accepting applications in early summer for the upcoming Small Business Saturday.

    If you have already submitted a request to become a Neighborhood Champion, you will receive an email with the status of your application within 2 weeks.

    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?

    The application period to become a 2018 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 24: 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 ways to rally your neighborhood:

    • 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 Shop Small® Studio. And don’t forget to promote the day and movement on social media and spread the word around your town!

    Here are some important considerations for hosting your 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 at the Shop Small® Studio.

    What if I receive an email saying my 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 be approved. Check the Terms of Participation to see eligibility requirements. The application process to become a 2018 Neighborhood Champion has closed at this point, however, there are other ways you can support Small Business Saturday!

    You can 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.

    You can also participate by visiting the Shop Small® Studio to download free marketing materials to support small businesses in your community on Small Business Saturday®.

    What materials are included in the Event Kit?

    The contents of the Event Kit vary each year. This year's 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?

    As an approved 2018 Neighborhood Champion, your Event kit will start shipping in mid-October. You will be sent a tracking email that indicates the kit has shipped. Once you receive this tracking email, please allow 4-8 business days to receive your Event Kit.

    The Event Kits are complimentary for approved Neighborhood Champions and there is no shipping or handling charge for the Event Kits.

    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.

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 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 the Get Inspired section of the Shop Small Studio for more ideas and inspiration, featuring bite-sized how-to videos and articles from those in the know.

    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 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 Amex recommendations made throughout 2017. Merchants are displayed via the American Express Shop Small® Map, Americanexpress.com, and email. Amex cannot guarantee your business will appear in a search on the Shop Small® Map.

    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 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 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 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 1-800-235-8916. 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?

    Unfortunately, Shop Small kits are no longer available. However, there are still other ways to get your business ready for Small Business Saturday, Nov 24! You can create customized marketing materials for your physical location, online shop, and social media at the Shop Small® Studio — in less than 2 minutes.

    If you already requested a Shop Small Kit, what can you expect next?

    Immediately after submitting your request for a Kit, you will see a page confirming that the request has been received. Within 4 business days of submitting your request, you will be sent an email that informs you your request has been approved and if merchandise is still available.

    If your application is approved, you should receive a tracking email approximately 1–3 weeks after your order is submitted. This email will indicate that a Shop Small Kit has been shipped to you, and it will also include your tracking information.

    You should expect to receive a Shop Small Kit within approximately 2–4 weeks from when you submitted your request. Once you receive the tracking email, please allow 4–8 business days to receive the Shop Small Kit.

    The Kits themselves are free for approved small business owners, and there is no shipping or handling fee for the Kit.

    What if you receive an email saying your request for a Shop Small Kit 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 a Shop Small Kit. Check the Terms of Participation 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?

    Unfortunately, you may not have completed the submission process and we can no longer accept requests for a Shop Small Kit. If you have any further questions, you can reach out by email at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com or by phone at 1- 800-235-8916, 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday.

    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 1-800-235-8916, 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday.

    What if you haven’t received a 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 Kit, please contact us at 1-800- 235-8916, 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday.

    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 1-800-235-8916, 9am to 6pm ET, Monday through Friday.