Millions plan to shop small

Published 12:34 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

First there was Black Friday. Next came Cyber Monday. Now there’s Small Business Saturday.

Unlike the other named days designed to launch the public off the springboard of Thanksgiving into holiday shopping, Small Business Saturday is intended to encourage shoppers to stay local and shop small.

“If millions of Americans shop small, it will be huge,” reads the headline for the event on the American Express website.

The celebration and nationwide support of small business is Saturday, Nov. 26, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The promotion, in its second year, was created by American Express to stimulate local economies, and has added incentives to shop your favorite local stores on the designated day.

Federal Express donated $1 million to the event, including $25 gift cards that shoppers could obtain by registering through FedEx’s Facebook page. Those gift cards – all 30,000 of them – were snatched up shortly after the promotion began on Nov. 1.

Shoppers with a valid American Express card are eligible for a $25 credit to their January statement if they sign up for the promotion through the company’s website, then use their American Express card to make a purchase of $25 or more on Nov. 26 at an independently owned small business located in the United States.

Betty Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Jewelry Store in Washington, is expressing her appreciation for American Express, by adding an incentive of her own for Small Business Saturday: “It’s a great idea. Anyone using an American Express card at Stewart’s gets 20 percent off their purchase.”

Neil and Meredith Loughlin plan to hang posters, provided online to merchants, to encourage people to bring an Amex card on Nov. 26 to shop at their store, Lone Leaf Gallery.

The event is gaining momentum nationwide according to the social barometer, Facebook: it’s racked up 2,168,652 “likes” so far.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit or