On November 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, small retailers across the nation will celebrate Small Business Saturday, founded in 2010 by American Express as a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. That same day, booksellers will be participating in the fourth annual Indies First, the book industry collaboration among authors, publishers, retailers, and readers that celebrates independent bookstores and local communities.
This year, American Express is encouraging customers to shop small during the holiday season by enrolling their credit cards to earn two times the points on purchases made at small retailers. The promotion runs from now through the end of the year. Check out the full list of eligible credit cards here.
For small businesses looking to promote Small Business Saturday and shopping locally, a variety of marketing materials are available from the brand-new AmEx Shop Small Studio, including customizable downloadable marketing materials for social networks, websites, and storefronts, as well as ready-to-use materials. Signage for stores and websites, as well as social media posts, is also available for free download.
Eligible small businesses can apply to receive a Shop Small merchandise kit by mail, which includes tote bags, buttons, signage, and more. The deadline to apply is November 11; details about eligibility can be found under the “Merchandise” heading on American Express’ Frequently Asked Questions page.
Once again this year, American Express is inviting stores to participate in the Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion program. Booksellers who sign up to be Neighborhood Champions by November 11 are eligible to receive a Small Business Saturday event kit including Shop Small merchandise that can be used to help get their community involved in the day. Last year, Neighborhood Champions organized neighborhood events and promotions to raise awareness for the day, encouraged local businesses to participate, and inspired people to get out and shop small.
Booksellers have two opportunities to get on searchable maps for Small Business Saturday and Indies First.
The American Express Shop Small map, which features qualifying small merchants, helps customers find small businesses in their city or town. Last year, the map had 4.5 million searches and 1.6 million unique visits. American Express Card-accepting merchants can sign in to their accounts to learn more about how to get listed on the map.
Booksellers participating in Indies First on Small Business Saturday are encouraged to submit their store’s event details to the Indies First Activity Registry so their plans for November 26 appear on the Indies First map on IndieBound. Bookseller participation in the IndieBound map is critical to show industry partners the high level of participation from booksellers in this annual shop local event.
For more information about Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small movement, visit the American Express Frequently Asked Questions page.