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It’s only mid-November, but “Christmas” has been in some stores since at least Halloween… or it seams like LAST Halloween :)

For most Americans, however, serious holiday shopping doesn’t begin until Thanksgiving Weekend. On Black Friday, the day after (or even on) Thanksgiving, stores will open early (or very early) with incredible bargains to draw customers to their doors. Although internet shoppers aren’t restricted by store hours, many wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving (dubbed Cyber Monday), to start online shopping – after having had plenty of time to compare prices in the local stores before deciding if online shopping really is the bargain it appears.

Small Business Saturday

Less familiar, but no less important, is Small Business Saturday®, observed this year on November 29. Established in 2010 by American Express, and now in its fourth year, Small Business Saturday® encourages Americans to support their small business community on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It also reminds shoppers that their purchasing dollars are powerful! This annual event motivates holiday shoppers across the country to seek out local merchants during the Nation’s busiest – and usually most profitable – shopping weekend of the year. On Small Business Saturday® 2011, for example, approximately 100 million people shopped at independently-owned small businesses in the United States!

Small Business in America

This promotion is important because small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. Local retailers are our neighbors, and active participants in the community. Small businesses sponsor school sports teams, participate in town festivals, act as collection sites for food drives, allow church groups to hold car wash fundraisers in their parking lots, and more.

Small businesses also drive the local economy. Over half of all Americans employed in the private sector work for a small business. Small businesses create jobs, and their very presence preserves, and revitalizes, neighborhoods. The U.S. Small Business Administration tells us that shopping at small businesses makes a definite impact on a local economy.

$10 Credit from American Express

As part of the Small Business Saturday® event, American Express has created a special $10 credit offer for their card members. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up at ShopSmall.com from November 16 – 29.
  2. Use your Amex Card to spend $10 or more at an approved American Express small business – like Howard Brothers Hardware – on Small Business Saturday®.
  3. A $10 credit will appear on your next American Express statement!

Registration is limited for this promotion, so don’t delay signing up!

This Thanksgiving Weekend, make plans to participate in Small Business Saturday®. Find your family and friends special, thoughtful gifts while supporting our neighbors in the small business community. Plus, you can earn a $10 credit from American Express!