With holiday shopping season kicking off next month, American Express today announced its plans to help small business owners get ready for Small Business Saturday, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26th. Small businesses -- from the cozy bistro on the corner to the go-to boutique for unique gifts -- can now take advantage of even more free resources, customizable materials, and educational content from American Express to help them prepare for the day and a successful holiday season during this critical shopping period.
“Our ultimate goal is to help small businesses do more business – and for Small Business Saturday, that includes arming them with the tools to help make the day a success,” said Amy Marino, Vice President and Head of Small Business Saturday at American Express. “This year we are collaborating with small business experts, entrepreneurs and influencers to create bite-size digital content and easy-to-customize marketing materials to help small business owners attract more customers, drive sales and feel the love from shoppers on November 26th.”
Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday supports the independently-owned businesses that help create jobs and help make local economies thrive. For many of these businesses, Small Business Saturday marks the unofficial kickoff to their busiest shopping season. According to the 2015 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking an eight percent increase from 2014.1
Introducing the Shop Small Studio and “SBS 101”
In just a few clicks (including agreeing to terms of participation), small business owners can now create customizable print and digital marketing assets and download them for free to promote their businesses and Small Business Saturday events at ShopSmall.com. Available resources at the Shop Small Studio include:
- Event Flyers and Posters
- Save The Dates
- Website Badges
- Facebook and Twitter Cover Photos
- Social Media Assets
ShopSmall.com will also include a multi-media content hub, called Small Business Saturday 101 or “SBS 101”, featuring how-to guides, and tips and insights from small business owners and influencers. “SBS 101” is designed to educate, prepare and inspire small business owners to participate in Small Business Saturday through videos, articles, infographics and more.
To share their secrets, American Express has enlisted the help and insights of well-known entrepreneurs, including:
- Paul Octavious - Professional Photographer, @pauloctavious, offers insights about social media best practices and the art of capturing events in photographs.
- Tyson Wheatly - Strategist, Director and Professional Photographer, @twheat, takes you behind the scenes with helpful hints to boost your social game.
- Erica Domesek - "Fashion Queen of DIY”, @psimadethis, provides key insights on how to make your business stand out with Small Business Saturday merchandise.2
- Andrew Steinthal & Chris Stang - The entrepreneurs behind celebrated app The Infatuation, @infatuation, provide tips on how a restaurant can get involved in Small Business Saturday.
- Melody Ehsani - Los Angeles based designer, @melodyehsani, opens up about her strategy and preparation for Small Business Saturday and how she has capitalized on Shop Small Studio resources.
- Ashleigh Dempster - Founder of children's footwear line and online boutique AKID, @akidbrand, shares tips on getting an early start on Small Business Saturday initiatives, planning supplemental gifts with purchase and other incentives to encourage repeat customers.
- Chelsea Shukov - Founder and Creative Director of @sugarpaperla provides turnkey insights on how to engage customers and community members into your overall Small Business Saturday plan.
- Katelyn Fisher - Owner of a DIY cake decorating studio, @duffscakemix, shares tips on how shops can decorate their existing space with the help of free downloadable marketing materials available at the Shop Small Studio.
Hands-on Boot Camps Rally and Equip Small Business Owners Around the U.S.
New this year, American Express will host three Small Business Saturday Boot Camps throughout October. Each Boot Camp focuses on how small business owners can excite their customers and market their business on Small Business Saturday to maximize their presence throughout the entire holiday shopping season through:
- A how-to workshop led by Rhonda Abrams, President and Founder of The Planning Shop and author of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies
- An interactive panel with local small business owners and community leaders sharing real stories about what works for them on Small Business Saturday
- An on-site Shop Small Studio experience where attendees will have the opportunity to create custom marketing materials to get their businesses ready
The Boot Camps will take place in Chicago, New York City and San Francisco:
- Chicago – 10/18 from 4-7pm at 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
- New York City – 10/20 from 4-7pm at 246 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001
- San Francisco – 10/27 from 4-7pm at 100 Montgomery Street, Suite 1650 (16th floor), San Francisco, CA 94104
Space is limited. Additional information about Boot Camps is available at ShopSmall.com.
Neighborhood Champions Ignite Communities to Get Excited and Prepared for Small Business Saturday
Nearly 3,000 Neighborhood Champions have already pledged to rally their communities to participate in Small Business Saturday this year. The Neighborhood Champion Program encourages small business owners, individuals, and community organizations to work with their local small businesses to organize and host events on Small Business Saturday each year. Neighborhood Champions can get free
Shop Small® branded merchandise such as tote bags, banners, pens, and balloons while supplies last to help promote and draw attention to their Small Business Saturday events. Neighborhood Champions also have access to turnkey event guides inspired by past celebrations. To become a Neighborhood Champion, apply at ShopSmall.com/Rally now through November 11th.
About Small Business Saturday
November 26th is the seventh annual Small Business Saturday. Dedicated to supporting local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods around the country, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers.
About American Express
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, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, corporate card, business travel and corporate responsibility.
2 To learn more about Small Business Saturday merchandise for small business owners, please visit www.shopsmall.com/getready. Merchandise applications will close on 11/11. While supplies last.