More than 2,000 communities are committing to rally their neighborhoods to celebrate Small Business Saturday this holiday season.
Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29), held every year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, was created by American Express in 2010 to support the small businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has served as the ceremonial kickoff to the busy holiday shopping season for independently owned businesses.
Just as important, it has driven high visibility and appreciation for the unique role that small businesses play in local communities. In 2013, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6% from the previous year—according to a 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey conducted by Redshift Research for the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.
Neighborhood Champions will be helping spread the word about Small Business Saturday along with various business organizations.The Neighborhood Champion program was created to help inspire communities to participate in the day and support local Small Business Saturday celebrations throughout the country. To become part of the program, prospective Neighborhood Champions were required to share their plans to bring together at least 10 businesses in their community to recognize the day and commit to serve as ambassadors, encouraging friends and family to shop small.
To date, more than 2,000 Neighborhood Champions from every state and the District of Columbia have signed up to celebrate Small Business Saturday in 2014. As part of the program, businesses have access to a number of resources to help make their Small Business Saturday events a success, including event guides and marketing materials to promote their involvement. They also will receive "Shop Small" branded merchandise such as buttons, balloons and tote bags to decorate their stores and offer to shoppers.
To help facilitate and amplify local Small Business Saturday events, American Express has also partnered with numerous business organizations, including the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the American Independent Business Alliance, the International Downtown Association, The Latino Coalition, the National Main Street Center, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Women Impacting Public Policy.
[Image: www.gettyimages.com / huePhotography]