Small Businesses have a lot of endearing nicknames; they’ve been called the “Backbone of the Economy,” as well as, “The Heartbeat and Cornerstone of the Community.” These are all true, in my opinion. The importance of shopping local cannot be stressed enough. For instance, did you know that for every $100 that you spend on your local small business, $68 goes back to the community? By “keeping it local,” we are actually feeding our local economies. Small businesses also pave the way for providing manpower, as they employ half of all private sector employees, and they represent nearly 98% of all employer firms, according to the Small Business Administration. Yes, I can go on and on with these fun facts about local businesses, but really, it doesn’t take a genius to know that these entities immensely contribute to each community, and to society as a whole.
Yup, Small Businesses definitely breathe life into local economies, and it’s great to see such a big company like American Express acknowledge this. This year, the company’s small business unit, American Express OPEN, is asking everyone to mark their calendars for “Small Business Saturday” which is taking place on November 26, 2011. The event sits right in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can’t miss it.
Small Business Saturday is a movement started in 2010. It declares the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a special day for small and independent businesses. On this day, people are encouraged to recognize the importance of local entities in their community, as well as the overall economy.
Aside from of course, purchasing from local and independent businesses, consumers can participate in Small Business Saturday by liking their Facebook page, following American Express OPEN on Twitter, and spreading the word to their personal and professional networks. Additionally, American Express credit card holders are eligible for a $25 statement credit on any purchase of at least $25 through 12/31/10 at any locally owned independent small businesses that accept American Express. Be sure to register your AmEx credit card and enroll in the offer.
In addition to spreading the word to their customers, small business owners can take part in the movement by heading over to Facebook “to download badges social sharing tools, or in-store displays to let customers know that they can save $25 until December 31, 2010.” Merchants can also find a ton of social media tips from the Small Business Saturday Facebook page, and they can participate in discussions to give them insights on how to succeed with the help of social media.
Aside from discounts and offers, American Express OPEN is also teaming up with nearly 20 advocacy, public, and private organizations, “including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is supporting Small Business Saturday events in Boston, Massachusetts; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Port Townsend, Washington; as well as the Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus in San Francisco, Greater Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, LA, and NYC.” The Small Business Saturday Movement is happening everywhere, so be sure to check their full list of supporters to see if there’s an event taking place in your neighborhood.