Small Business Saturday takes place during Thanksgiving weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. American Express launched the program in 2010 to support local businesses, which create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods in New York and around the U.S.
A growing number of supporters—including corporations such as FedEx and American Express, which offer consumers $25 if they spend money with a small business retailer on November 26th—have joined the effort. American Express reported that small retailers who accept the card experienced a 28 percent increase in 2010 sales when compared to the prior Saturday after Thanksgiving 2009. Additionally, retailers get $100 worth of free Facebook advertising and a range of free tools to use to market their companies. It's an initiative in which everybody wins.
Consumers can help their own communities by patronizing local small businesses not only on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year. This is so important because small businesses create jobs, donate to local non-profits, sponsor youth teams, and add vibrancy to their communities. Additionally, small companies pay local taxes, which helps alleviate some of the burden that otherwise would be placed on property owners.
The owners of New York small businesses are your neighbors; they care about your community and give back to it. Yes, visit their establishments on Small Business Saturday, November 26th. But remember to do so throughout the holiday season and all year long.
A frequently quoted expert on small business lending and recently named the Top Entrepreneur of 2011 by Crain’s New York Business, Rohit Arora is CEO of Biz2Credit, which connects small business owners with 300 lenders, credit rating agencies and service providers. Since 2007, Biz2Credit has secured $400 million in funding for small businesses in New York and across the U.S. via its safe, efficient online platform.