Small Businesses Ready to Help Drive Holiday Sales

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Commemorating its fifth year Small Business Saturday inspires year-round support of independent businesses, according to NFIB/American Express Research. From the coffee shop that serves up the most flavorful espresso to the florist designing beautiful arrangements day after day, small businesses around the country are gearing up for the start of the holiday shopping season with Small Business Saturday.

According to the third-annual Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer support for independently-owned businesses is increasing. More than three quarters (78 percent) of shoppers say they will be spending more or the same amount on Small Business Saturday as they did in 2013, providing independent businesses with a welcome boost in holiday sales.

Held each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Five years after its inauguration, half of U.S. consumers report that they are aware of Small Business Saturday, and among those who are aware, 82 percent say they plan to patronize a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant on November 29. Just as important, 77 percent say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop small all year long.

“Small Business Saturday has gotten bigger every year and has been a big boost to Main Street America,” said NFIB CEO and President Dan Danner. “Local businesses have been enthusiastic about Small Business Saturday from its inception, but what’s really encouraging is that more American consumers are making a commitment to visit their neighbors on Main Street as part of their holiday shopping.”

“In just five years, Small Business Saturday has become part of our holiday shopping tradition and an important rallying cry to support all of the small, independent businesses that serve as the backbone of our communities,” said Denise Pickett, President, American Express OPEN. “The holiday shopping season can be a make-or-break moment for many small business owners. Small Business Saturday puts these businesses in a better position to compete for more customers and sales.”

Consumer Incentives to Shop Small
American Express will give Card Members a special offer for shopping on Small Business Saturday. Card Members will get a $10 statement credit when they register their eligible American Express® Card and then use the registered Card to spend $10 or more on a single in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Small Business Saturday. Card Members can take advantage of the American Express Card Member offer for Small Business Saturday up to three times on the day. Registration is available at ShopSmall.com.

To find qualifying small business locations visit the Small Business Saturday Map®, available at www.ShopSmall.com.

Year Five Extends to More Local Communities

• Main Street Makeover: 5 “Main Streets” across the country will receive makeovers from professional designers leading up to the busy holiday shopping weekend. Each designer will work closely with the benefitting local businesses to create a design concept that celebrates the holiday spirit and entices local communities to shop small. Participating cities include San Francisco, New York, Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

• Street Art: American Express is commissioning artists to create public Shop Small murals in 12 markets across the country. Participating cities include New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

• 200 Etsy Trunk Shows: Etsy and American Express have teamed up to encourage small businesses to discover and showcase local artisans in their community by hosting local Trunk Shows in their stores on Small Business Saturday. With 200 participating stores, consumers can find a trunk show in their community by visiting here.

• Small Business Saturday Night: In an effort to encourage consumers to support independently owned shops, restaurants and bars after the sun goes down on November 29, small businesses in neighborhoods located in New York, Chicago and San Francisco will stay open late and host events for a one-of-a-kind night-time shopping and dining experience.

• Nearly 3,000 Neighborhoods: To help facilitate and amplify local Small Business Saturday events, American Express has partnered with numerous organizations – including the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the International Downtown Association, the Latino Coalition, the National Main Street Center, the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) to support communities throughout the country in organizing Small Business Saturday events and activities. Nearly 3,000 neighborhoods from every state and the District of Columbia have signed on to celebrate Small Business Saturday this year.

Additional findings from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey include:
• Nearly all (94 percent) U.S. consumers say that shopping at small businesses makes them “feel good;”

• On average, shoppers estimate nearly one-third (31 percent) of their holiday shopping will be done at small businesses;

• Two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers say the main reason they patronize small businesses is because they value the contributions they make to their community; and

• More than half (57 percent) say they know one or more of their local small business owners personally.

About the Survey
The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,999 males and females 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study was conducted anonymously by independent marketing performance specialist Ebiquity on October 20-30, 2014. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent, at the 95 percent level of confidence.

About Small Business Saturday
November 29th marks the fifth annual Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

About NFIB
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

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