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Small Business Saturday Encourages 'Shopping Small'


Make room for another after-Thanksgiving national shopping day called Small Business Saturday, urges New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced the event during a news conference at City Hall on Monday (Nov. 8) morning.

On Nov. 27, Bloomberg wants consumers across the nation to support local independently owned businesses by shopping at their stores because small businesses often struggle to compete against Black Friday promotions from bigger companies or Cyber Monday's online deals.

“This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local small businesses,” Bloomberg said. “It really can make an enormous difference for merchants trying to succeed.”

To promote the event, small businesses owners can download online materials such as a decal from the event’s Facebook page.

American Express Chairman Kenneth Chenault, whose company sponsors the day-long initiative, has roped in more than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations to promote the event.

“We asked small businesses what they wanted, and they all said, ‘More customers,’” he told reporters Monday, adding that people who don’t use American Express also can participate on Small Business Saturday. “Small business owners are survivors. We can help them.”

Bloomberg immediately jumped on board the concept of the event when Chenault approached him. Bloomberg said he’s hopeful consumers will do the same even though some small businesses will not be able to provide heavy discounts seen on Black Friday.

As an incentive for consumers, American Express will give $25 statement credit to 100,000 cardmembers who register their card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday.

American Express also will give $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up to participate on the event’s Facebook page. Facebook has donated $500,000 in Facebook credits for these small business owners to use in the future.

Additionally, for every person who “likes” Small Business Saturday on Facebook, American Express will donate $1 (up to $500,000) to Girls Inc., an organization that empowers young women to be future entrepreneurs.

Chenault said American Express plans to talk to business owners after Nov. 27 to gauge the success of Small Business Saturday.

"We are committed to this effort for years to come," he said.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and become his friend on Facebook (BAH Journalist) to interact or stay updated on news about small businesses.