This year, do your shopping on Small Business Sat.

RBC I First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. On Nov. 27 comes Small Business SaturdaySM, 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.
Small businesses are critical to the nation’s overall economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year. Over the past two decades, they created 65 percent of net new jobs. Their importance to local communities extends even further. For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small business advocacy group The 3/50 Project.
Cinda Baxter, founder of The 3/50 Project, said, “According to a recent survey, 90 percent of consumers are willing to pledge support for a buy local small business initiative. So, I ask everyone to pledge their support for Small Business Saturday and to shop exclusively with independent stores on Nov. 27.”
The 3/50 Project encourages consumers to pick three locally owned, independent brick and mortar businesses they can’t live without, and commit to spending $50 per month across the three businesses, in addition to all of the other spending they do.
“When we invest in small businesses, we are investing in Main Streets–the places that give our towns and cities a unique sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which includes the National Trust Main Street Center. “By celebrating Small Business Saturday and shopping at independent businesses, everyone can play a part in strengthening our economy and supporting revitalization on our Main Streets.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center is a preservation-based economic development program that helps more than 2000 communities nationally revitalize their historic and traditional commercial districts by leveraging local assets.
“Small business is the engine of job creation in the U.S. economy,” said Ken Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express. “It is also among the sectors hardest hit by the recession. 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.”
Social media will play a central role in helping raise awareness about the importance of supporting small business and recognizing Small Business Saturday. American Express is launching campaigns on Facebook and Twitter driving consumers and business owners to facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday where they can participate in many ways.
♦ American Express is giving a $25 statement credit to 100,000 card members who register their card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday at any locally-owned, independent small businesses that accept American Express.
♦ American Express is also giving $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up at facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to help build online buzz and drive customers to shop at their businesses on Small Business Saturday. By simply entering a few pieces of information and clicking a button, these business owners can create a personalized, geo-targeted ad that will run on Facebook leading up to Nov. 27. Facebook has donated $500,000 in Facebook credits for these small business owners to use in the future.
♦ For every person who ‘likes’ Small Business Saturday on Facebook, American Express is donating $1 up to $500,0003 to Girls Inc. to empower young women to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
An initial group of more than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations are thus far part of the Small Business Saturday movement.
For more information on the Small Business Saturday movement, visit http://facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday or http://www.smallbusinesssaturday.com.