American Express is debuting Small Business Saturday Night this year—its fifth year running Small Business Saturday. The new platform is set to build on the success of the national Small Business Saturday initiative and encourages consumers to support independently owned shops and restaurants after the sun goes down on Nov. 29.
“Small Businesses are more than just the places we shop, dine and drink. They are the connective thread of our communities and are central characters in the American story,” said Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of OPEN at American Express. “We have been so humbled by how quickly Americans embraced Small Business Saturday that it only made sense to extend the celebration well into the night. We hope everyone will join us in neighborhoods across the country as we support the important work of these small business owners as the sun goes down and the lights turn on.”
Held every year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express in 2010 to support the small businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. And this year, the spotlight is expanding to highlight the important role all types of small businesses play in contributing to a community’s vitality—both day and night.
As part of Small Business Saturday Night, small business owners will host immersive retail and dining experiences. Apparel, accessories and home retail boutiques, as well as independently-owned restaurants, will provide unique incentives for evening patrons—including in-venue entertainment, dinner and cocktail specials and shopping offers. Customers also will have the opportunity to meet and speak with shop owners to find special gifts and personal items for the holidays.
Small Business Saturday Night flagship events will kick off in Chicago’s Wicker Park, New York City’s NoLita and San Francisco’s Upper Fillmore neighborhoods.
In Chicago: The Wicker Park neighborhood will feature a "Shop Small Crawl" with a special event passport that incentivizes shoppers to visit multiple stores and restaurants throughout the evening. The crawl will kick off with an artisan pop-up shop at Free Range Office and culminate at an after-party at the Jackson Junge Gallery. Along the way, patrons can stop at designer shoe store City Soles for a complimentary wine tasting and swing by The Silver Room boutique for free pampering, including massages and makeup touch-ups. The evening is being organized with help from the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.
In New York City: NoLita will offer an evening of festivities and experiential narrative curated by Spring Street Social Society. Small businesses and restaurants, such as the Carson St. Clothiers, Egg Shop and Unis, will be hosting shoppers with special surprise performances, DJs and cocktails. Global designer and local store owner Christian Siriano will also be inviting consumers inside for a unique shopping experience, and celebrity spokesdog Marnie the Dog will be out shopping for the cause.
In San Francisco: The Fillmore Merchant Association is leading the evening’s efforts at stores and restaurants. At local clothing store, ASMBLY HALL, the owners will present an “Aloha Hawaiian Holiday” theme with special food, beverages and entertainment. And at Zinc Details furniture store, shoppers will be treated to a fashion show and wine. In addition, Elizabeth Charles, Jarbo and Spice Ace will be creating special experiential moments for consumers, including specialty cocktails and salsa making demonstrations.
Community leaders, musicians and celebrities are expected to turn out in support of the event, including the evening’s hosts designer Siriano and celebrity spokesdog Marnie the Dog. In addition, singer-songwriter Mary Lambert will be the artist in residence, headlining a closing event at Housing Works Bookstore in New York City to thank and toast the neighborhood’s small business owners.
“In the beginning of my career, small businesses were more than just places to shop or get coffee or have dinner—they were the stages where I had my first chance to perform in front of people,” stated Lambert. “I’m proud to be part of this very special campaign to celebrate and thank small business owners for being there for me and our communities.”
Small business owners in communities across the country still have time to participate and can learn how to create their own night event by visiting shopsmall.com.
[Image courtesy of www.gettyimages.com / Betsie Van der Meer