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Was Small Business Saturday a Success or Flop? Results Are In


When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Americans to participate in the newest post-Thanksgiving national shopping day called Small Business Saturday, he didn’t know what impact the Nov. 28 campaign would have on local, independently owned businesses across the country.

Bloomberg wondered if the shopping day would take years to catch on with consumers or if it would garner immediate success like Cyber Monday did during its first push in 2005.

“Small-business owners are survivors. We can help them,” Bloomberg said at news conference leading up to the event.

Statistics released Thursday (Dec. 2) shed light on whether Small Business Saturday helped those “survivors.” Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the campaign’s outcome, according to event sponsor American Express OPEN:

  • 27: Percentage of small retailers that accept American Express cards and saw an increase in sales this year compared with the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.
  • 41: Elected officials who declared Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday. This includes the governors of Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Utah, and the mayors of Boston; Boulder, Colo.; Lincoln, Neb.; New York City, Phoenix, Ariz., and Topeka, Kan., among other cities and states. (see image below)
  • 130: Small-business advocate groups, public and private organizations and elected officials who joined American Express in declaring Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday.
  • 10,000: Businesses that received free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services before Small Business Saturday.
  • 30,000: Tweets sent using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSaturday. This includes consumers spreading the word about the event and business owners promoting offers they created specifically for the day.
  • 100,000: Small-business owners who downloaded point-of-purchase and promotional materials from the event’s Facebook page.
  • 1.2 million: People who joined the movement by “liking” Small Business Saturday on Facebook.

“Small Business Saturday helped create broad awareness of the importance of supporting the independent small businesses that are so vital to our communities,” American Express Chairman Kenneth Chenault said.

“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,” Chenault said. “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.”

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

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