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November 26th Is Small Business Saturday: Help Spread the Word!

November 26, 2011
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

The gist: American Express will give a $25 statement credit to eligible cardholders who shop at the small business of their choice for today only, as part of their Small Business Saturday Promotion. AmEx will also help local businesses promote themselves through traditional and social media marketing.

NerdWallet loves small businesses. In addition to blogging about small business issues, we always review our business credit cards with the little guy in mind. That’s why we’re pretty stoked about Small Business Saturday, the small merchant’s answer to big retail holiday blowouts like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re exhausted by waiting in line at Walmart yesterday, think about the the warm welcome you get at the local knitting store every time you walk in.

When you’re out purchasing presents today, take time to support the shops that keep your local economy alive and vibrant. There are many advantages to shopping small. You’ll find unique gifts you won’t be able to get anywhere else, you’ll get to know your community, and you’ll be supporting local job growth.

Did you know? Small businesses create more jobs

According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses were responsible for 65 percent of all new jobs created over the past 17 years. They employ half of all American workers, and they do a lot better than you might think! The American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index estimates that “Mom and Pop” shops account for 50 percent of all retail shopping business and 64 percent of restaurant business.

There are lots of ways to get involved with Small Business Saturday, whether you’re a business owner or a patron. Read on to learn more.

Small business owner? American Express OPEN can help you advertise

If you’re a small business owner, American Express OPEN, AmEx’s small business division, is offering a variety of free Small Business Saturday advertising tools to help you out. Go to the Small Business Saturday homepage to download these and learn more about ways to promote your business this week. Here are some of the things you can download for free:

  • In-store signage: Let your customers know that Small Business Saturday is coming soon with an official sign. Print and display it in your windows, at your register, or wherever else people will see it. Use the FedEx Office Print Online service at a 20 percent discount to make your signs, or print them from your own printer. Download the sign template in two printer-friendly sizes: 8.5’’ X 11’’ and 11’’ X 17’’.
  • Shop small badge: This is a graphic “button” to use on your business Web site. You can also use it as an email signature or put it up on your Facebook page.
  • Email and social media templates: Do you have an email marketing campaign? Do you use Facebook or Twitter to communicate with your customers? If you’re too busy to write copy this week, you can still spread the word about Small Business Saturday. AmEx has a Small Business Saturday email template, along with pre-written Facebook posts and tweets, to make it easy for you.

Small business supporter? Tell all your friends

Do you love small businesses? There are lots of ways to spread the word in honor of Small Business Saturday. Recommend your favorite local business to your friends through word of mouth, or write positive reviews on social media sites like Yelp. Like your local small business on Facebook and link to their homepage. Need more ideas? The Small Business Saturday homepage has a variety of tips and resources:

  • Sign up for your statement credit: If you have a qualifying American Express card, go to the Small Business Saturday Facebook page. Register your card and you may be eligible to earn a $25 statement credit just by shopping at the local business of your choice.
  • Search for local businesses: Search for popular small businesses on Facebook by zip code. If you live near New York, Chicago or San Francisco, you can even download a free small business city guide with information on special offers, courtesy of PAPER magazine.
  • Take the pledge: Make your voice count by taking the pledge to shop small. Share the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.

How do you plan on celebrating Small Business Saturday today? Let us know!