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11/27/10 Is The First Small Business Saturday. Amex Wants You to Join the Movement on Facebook and Shop Small

Small Business Saturday at Penn Station/MSG

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express/Amex was on the Today show this morning to promote Small Business Saturday.  He appeared passionate about the new movement as he says there is room for everyone; you can shop at the Big Box retailers on Black Friday, online for Cyber Monday and now “Shop Small” on Small Business Saturday.

Taken from their Facebook page, Amex describes the mission of Small Business Saturday as follows:

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever 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 is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.

A couple of weeks ago I teamed up with Jeff Namnum and his LITweetup group as we joined forces to help spread the word of Small Business Saturday to the local Long Island, NY community.  Nearby New York City was the first city in the nation to proclaim November 27th “Small Business Saturday” as Mayor Bloomberg and American Express encouraged other cities to participate.  So with very limited time, we reached out to our own networks and helped spread the word and educated those on how they can promote their Long Island small business through Facebook and other Social Media avenues.  I was able to reach out to John Chae at Yummy Sushi Huntington to utilize Small Business Saturday to raise awareness and promote his restaurant gift certificates.  I was also able to get the Small Business Saturday promotions implemented quickly for my husband’s photography e-studios: Furry Paws Pet Portraits and Real Portrait Images.

At that time, Small Business Saturday’s Facebook page only had a mere 100,000 followers.  According to, The Small Business Saturday Facebook page is the fastest growing new page on Facebook. More than 850,000 ‘likes’ in just over two weeks.  With the multichannel advertising support including Facebook Cost Per Click, full page ads in the Wall Street Journal, television ads, on Penn Station/Madison Square Garden’s big board, plus word of mouth from folks like our group, they now have over 1 million.

Throughout the past couple of weeks, they updated their Facebook page wall with interesting statistics and great reasons to shop small such as:

  • For every year over the last decade, 60%-80% of new jobs were generated by small businesses. Another great reason to shop small!
  • For every $100 spent at a local small business, $68 returns to the community.

Amex even offered $100 worth of Facebook advertising support for small businesses that applied before the November 18th deadline and who qualified. We applied to support Furry Paws Pet Portraits/FPPP e-studio and received the acceptance email a couple days later…

“Your ad has been reviewed and approved to run between November 12th and 27th*. Within three weeks after your campaign’s completion you will receive a report via email detailing your ad’s performance.”

Although we will not see ad performance statistics for a while, FPPP is already seeing a significant lift in traffic/daily post views on the Facebook page, with a lift in orders on Thanksgiving and Black Friday from last year. We shall see what happens tomorrow, and the results in a couple of week, if any lift correlates with the Amex/Facebook ad.

As if this campaign wasn’t big enough for a “small” cause, Amex on top of all this is donating $1 up to $1,000,000 for each like on their Small Business Saturday Facebook page to Girls Inc., a charity that helps empower young women to be entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Oh and one more great thing, Amex is offering  a $25 credit to the patron who “shops small” with their pre-registered AMEX card on Small Business Saturday. So these small businesses are able to offer a great incentive to shop with them, while it doesn’t affect their already fragile bottom line.

What do you think of this local community economic support promotion?

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