The inaugural Small Business Saturday, held this year on November 27th, has quickly galvanized Americans in support of small, independently owned local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.
Small Business Saturday was created in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more demand for their products and services. In all, 130 small business advocate groups, public and private organizations and elected officials joined American Express in declaring November 27, 2010 as Small Business Saturday.
Since launching just three weeks ago on November 8th, Small Business Saturday has achieved a number of significant milestones:
- 1.2 million people joined the movement and helped spread the word by "liking" Small Business Saturday on Facebook. American Express had pledged a significant donation to Girls, Inc. tied to the number of "likes" on Facebook, and based on the popularity of the Facebook page, Girls Inc., will receive a $1 million donation for programs to empower young women to become entrepreneurs.
- Nearly 30,000 tweets were sent using the hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday. This includes consumers spreading the word about the national movement and business owners promoting offers they created specifically for the day.
- 41 elected officials declared November 27, 2010 "Small Business Saturday." This includes the Governors of Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Utah and the Mayors of Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Lincoln, NE; New York City; Phoenix, AZ and Topeka, KS. To view a complete map of states and cities that joined the movement, click here.
All consumers across the country were encouraged to "shop small" on November 27th, and American Express Cardmembers clearly did their part.
- Based on preliminary American Express spending data as of December 2, small retailers that accept American Express Cards(1), including those that sell apparel, bikes, books, electronics and flowers, saw an estimated 27% increase in sales on American Express Cards this year compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.
- There has been a strong level of customer interest in the special Cardmember incentive that provided a $25 statement credit to American Express Cardmembers who registered their cards and spent at least $25 on their cards at a small business on November 27th. In addition to the 200,000 Cardmembers who have already enrolled, American Express has raised the cap on the incentive by an additional 100,000 Cardmembers, and extended the offer to both enroll and receive a credit through December 31st. More information about the incentive can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
Small Business Owners
- More than 100,000 small business owners downloaded point-of-purchase and promotional materials from the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
- 10,000 small businesses signed up and received free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services in the run up to Small Business Saturday.
"Small Business Saturday helped create broad awareness of the importance of supporting the independent small businesses that are so vital to our communities," said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express. "We are pleased with the momentum American Express Cardmembers helped create for small business retail sales at the official start of the holiday shopping season, and based on our results, we're encouraged that many small business retailers would have seen spending increases across other forms of payment as well."
For updates on the movement, visit http://facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday.
About American Express OPEN
American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com, facebook.com/open and twitter.com/openforum.
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
(1) "Small retailers" include any independently owned small businesses that accept American Express Cards in retail industries such as industries such as apparel, bikes, books, electronics and florists. Online-only retailers, large, national chains, franchised business locations and government agencies are not included in this subset of the overall American Express merchant base