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Small Business Saturday Returns This Year With Several New Initiatives

  • Small Business Saturday returns for 12th year on Nov. 27
  • American Express announces several new initiatives to support the annual effort to support local enterprises
  • U.S. Small Business Administration encourages the effort and highlights the impact of small businesses

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Small Business Saturday will return for its 12th year this week, with several new initiatives aimed at promoting these enterprises.

American Express, which launched Small Business Saturday in response to the Great Recession, says the occasion will take place on Nov. 27. The company promoted it as a year-round occasion last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an estimated $19.8 billion in spending on Small Business Saturday itself.

“We’re rallying consumers to help deliver a strong holiday season for small businesses in communities across the country,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express. “It’s so important to support our favorite small businesses not only on Small Business Saturday but throughout the holiday season and all year long.”

The initiatives launched by American Express this year include:

  • A new nationwide marketing campaign, including new ways to support small businesses and complimentary downloadable resources to help entrepreneurs rally support for their small businesses and communities
  • A Google Shopping collaboration to create digital murals, painted by local artists, in four major cities to showcase more than 25 products sourced solely from local businesses
  • The Shop Small x ByBlack online marketplace, powered by the mission-driven retailer Showfields; this marketplace will be an extension of the ByBlack business directory and certification program for Black-owned businesses
  • A $1.65 million grant program, in partnership with Main Street America, with the goal of supporting hundreds of underrepresented small businesses through financial support and other resources

American Express has set the goal of helping to drive $100 billion in added sales at small businesses between 2021 and 2025. The company also released a survey which found that 56 percent of small business owners believe this year’s Small Business Saturday will be more critical than previous ones for their business, with 78 percent saying their holiday sales will impact their ability to sustain their business in 2022.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said consumer confidence has been bolstered this holiday season as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines against the virus have become widely available. The agency said there are about 32.5 million small businesses in the nation, employing about half of the U.S. workforce and creating about two out of three new jobs.

“On Saturday and throughout the holiday season, let’s patronize our small shops, restaurants, theaters, entertainment centers, and more to help support their recovery,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “It takes hard work, grit, and determination to bounce back from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, and the SBA is proud to do its part to provide entrepreneurs with vital resources. Now more than ever, let’s buy local to support small business owners who are creating opportunity and driving job growth across the nation.”

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