07.12.2011 22:18
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Over 100 Million Shoppers Help Jumpstart the Holiday Season for Independent Merchants on Small Business Saturday

The second-annual Small Business Saturday gave a boost to Main Street merchants and spurred an estimated 103 million Americans to shop at independently-owned small businesses. That is up from a pre-Thanksgiving forecast of 89 million. Increased awareness of the day and dozens of locally organized initiatives helped merchants leverage the wave of consumer support. This year, public awareness of Small Business Saturday rose to 65 percent compared to 37 percent in 2010.

"Millions of Americans turned out to support local merchants and made this year’s Small Business Saturday a big success,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express. "We want to thank all the consumers, public officials, community organizations, chambers of commerce and corporate partners who were part of the movement. By supporting small businesses across America, they are helping to create jobs, boost the economy and preserve our neighborhoods.”

Support from Every Corner of the Country

  • Public awareness of Small Business Saturday rose to 65% from 37% in 2010.
  • Elected officials in all 50 states and Washington D.C. championed Small Business Saturday –including President Obama, who took his daughters on a shopping trip to an independent bookstore a few blocks from the White House.
  • White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills and Deputy Administrator Marie Johns supported Small Business Saturday efforts and shopped at local businesses in Chicago, Boston and Washington D.C., respectively.
  • The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, cosponsored by the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senators Mary Landrieu and Olympia Snowe, designating November 26 as Small Business Saturday.
  • More than 230 small business advocate groups, public and private organizations supported the nationwide initiative.
  • Seventy-five corporations, such as FedEx, Facebook and Google, banded together to promote shopping at small merchants for Small Business Saturday.
  • More than 2.7 million Facebook users "liked” the Small Business Saturday page – more than doubling the 1.2 million "likes” in 2010.
  • Nearly 195,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday in November, many leveraging the hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsat. This includes consumers spreading the word about the national initiative and business owners promoting offers they created specifically for the day.

Shoppers Embrace Small Business Saturday

  • An estimated 103 million Americans shopped at independently-owned small businesses on November 26th.
  • American Express saw a 23% increase in Cardmember transactions at small business merchants1 on Small Business Saturday.
  • Hundreds of thousands of consumers registered their American Express cards to receive $25 statement credits when they shopped at a small business on Small Business Saturday.
  • 40,000 people received $25 Shop Small American Express gift cards courtesy of FedEx for use at small merchants on November 26th.

Small Business Owners Make the Day their Own

  • More than 500,000 small business owners leveraged an online tool or promotional materials for Small Business Saturday.
  • 15,000 small businesses signed up and received free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services in the run up to Small Business Saturday.

For updates on the annual initiative, visit http://facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday.

About Small Business Saturday

November 26th marked the second annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday (SBS) was created in 2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more customers.

About American Express OPEN®

American Express OPEN is the leading payment card issuer for small businesses in the United States and supports business owners with products and services to help them run and grow their businesses. This includes business charge and credit cards that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, rewards, savings on business services from an expanded lineup of partners and online tools and services designed to help improve profitability. Learn more at www.OPEN.com and connect with us at openforum.com and twitter.com/openforum.

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.youtube.com/americanexpress.

1 Small business merchants” include any independently owned small businesses that accept American Express Cards in retail and restaurant industry categories such as general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and home furnishings, books, music, electronics, eating and drinking establishments. Large, national chains, franchised business locations and government agencies are not included in this subset of the overall American Express merchant base.

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