Team South Coast is a big supporter of small business in the US; we believe it is the force that drives our economy. We would like to ask our friends and family to participate this year in the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. On November 26th, we’re joining millions of people to shop small at our favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge.
For any of you with an AMEX card, here is a way to get a free $25 dollars. American Express wants to help you make a difference. Get a one-time $25 statement credit when you register an eligible American Express® Card and use that Card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. Registration is limited. Terms and Conditions apply.
Why Small Business is Important
- Small firms represent 99.7% of all employer firms
- Employ about half of all private sector employees
- Pay 43% of total U.S. private payroll
- Have generated 65% of net new jobs over the past 17 years
- Create more than 50% of nonfarm private gross domestic product
Source: Small Business Administration (2007)
- Home values in 27 studied neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses outperformed their broader markets by four percent per year and 50% cumulatively over the past 14 years. These “indie hotspots” were found to support an average of more than 1,800 jobs at independent retailers, restaurants and bars.
- Independently owned small retailers account for 11% less of total retail sales than they did 20 years ago (from 57% in 1990 down to 46% in 2009).
- Independent bars and restaurants fared slightly better, but still lost 7% of total sales (from 71% in 1990 to 64% in 2009).
Source: The American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index (October 2011)
- 93% of US consumers believe it’s important to support the local small businesses that they value in their community
- 87% believe that small businesses are a critical element of the overall U.S. economic health
- 89% agree that locally-owned, independent businesses contribute positively through taxes and jobs
- 73% consciously shop at small businesses in their community because they do not want them to go away.
Source: The American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse (July 2011)
Building on Last Year’s Success
American Express has said more than 100,000 small businesses downloaded marketing materials, 10,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising that ran on Small Business Saturday, and 200,000 consumers registered their American Express cards to receive $25 statement credits when they shopped at a small business on SBS.
Small retailers who accept the American Express Card saw a 28 percent increase in sales on Small Business Saturday when compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009, according to American Express.
This year, participation works the same way. Consumers who go to American Express’s Facebook page can register their American Express cards. Then on Nov. 26, they simply make a purchase at an eligible small business and will receive a credit of up to $25 on their next American Express bill. Once you register your card, you can enter your zip code and see a list of eligible merchants.
FedEx Joins the Cause
Meanwhile, Federal Express has announced it is committing $1 million to the small business promotion by purchasing 30,000 American Express gift cards, good at small independently-owned businesses, and giving them away in a Facebook promotion.
Ten thousand additional cards will be distributed directly to FedEx customers. The company said the contribution means more money in the cash registers of locally-owned independent businesses during the holiday season.
“A vibrant small business community is critical to the health of the US economy and the cornerstone of the thousands of cities and towns FedEx serves every day,” said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of Market Development at FedEx. “Through this commitment, FedEx is able to help raise awareness for Small Business Saturday as well as put money directly into the pockets of consumers while reminding them to support their local businesses during the holidays.”
American Express released an online survey showing 38 percent of consumers said they planned to to shop for holiday gifts at small, independently owned, retailers by participating in the second annual Small Business Saturday on November 26.
Where are you going to shop?