By the time you read this, thousands of Americans will have already returned home after an early morning (or very late night) of holiday shopping. That’s right, today is that wonderful day (for retailers) known affectionately as Black Friday. As this joyous season continues on a trajectory of becoming increasingly commercial, retail stores across the country are vying for every dollar of holiday spend. This year, many national brands (namely Walmart, Target and Kohl’s) went so far as to start the deal frenzy late on Thanksgiving night.
But this post is not about big brands fighting for holiday dollars. Rather, spotlight a new program and to congratulate American Express on a job well done.
For the second straight year, American Express is sponsoring “Small Business Saturday.” Tucked in-between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. As the lifeblood of the American economy, American Express is asking that Americans “shop small” on Saturday, November 26 to support their favorite local stores and “fuel the economy.” What a phenomenal idea! And President Obama agrees:
From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise. These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Through events such as Small Business Saturday, we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century.
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And American Express isn’t just talking-the-talk. They have put real resources behind the program.
For Amex cardholders, the company is offering a one-time $25 statement credit when they register an eligible American Express credit card and use that card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. You can learn more here.
For small businesses, Amex is providing participating retailers with a complete toolkit of marketing solutions including Small Business Saturday signage, sample ads, an advertising credit on Facebook and tools for building social media buzz. In addition, merchants can participate in Google and American Express sponsored “My Business Story” where entrepreneurs can submit short videos about their business and gain access to a suite of editing and music tools that will them create a compelling, professional vignette.
So to American Expresss, we say congratulations on a job well done. I wish more businesses like you and Starbucks would take up the charge to inspire economic support through job creation and small business growth.
And to everyone else, don’t forget visit the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and take the pledge to “Shop Small” this holiday season.