American Express is sponsoring the first ever Small Business Saturday on this coming Saturday, November 27.
For every Facebook user who clicks “like” on Small Business Saturday’s page, American Express will pledge $1 to Girls Inc., a non-profit organization that works to empower young girls to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. American Express cardholders who make a purchase at a small store on November 27 will receive a $25 credit on their statement. To get the discount, your card must be enrolled here.
The idea behind Small Business Saturday is to show support for local businesses. The Facebook page for Small Business Saturday proclaims it as a “a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.” It also describes the day as a “national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.”
“For every $100 spent at a local small business, $68 returns to the community,” proclaims the website for Small Business Saturday, a statistic it attributes to Civic Economics, an economics analysis and strategic planning firm. The following data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) shows how important small businesses are to the U.S. economy:
- Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
- Employ half of all private sector employees
- Pay 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll
- Generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade
- Created over 50 percent of non-farm private GDP.
- Supplied over 23 percent of the total value of federal prime contracts in FY 2004
- Produced 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms
- Employed 41 percent of high tech workers
- Made up 97 percent of all identified exporters and produced 26 percent of the known export value in FY 2002
“By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country at a time when they need support the most,” said American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault when he unveiled the program last week with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Cities small and large are promoting Small Business Saturday, including New York City. Bloomberg said, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together, and we’ve always sought new ways to support them – something that became even more important when the national economic downturn began.”
Bloomberg added, “When Ken Chenault told me about his idea for Small Business Saturday, I jumped at the opportunity to participate. We’ve all heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local small businesses. It really can make an enormous difference for merchants trying to succeed.”
The small North Carolina town of Marion proclaimed November 27 Small Business Day in the town. Marion mayor, Steve Little said, “…we salute our small business owners, retailers, restaurants, entrepreneurs and workers for their contributions to our prosperity and for helping making our community better and stronger.”