Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent two of the busiest days of the holiday shopping season. But in between them lies an opportunity for ...

A business owner’s guide to Small Business Saturday #1

Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent two of the busiest days of the holiday shopping season. But in between them lies an opportunity for small-business owners to claim a share of holiday shoppers’ budgets.

Small Business Saturday is a way to celebrate small-business owners and what they contribute to their local communities.

And Small Business Saturday 2022 could be one of the most significant yet for locally-owned businesses. According to a November 2022 Bankrate survey, nearly 6 in 10 holiday shoppers (59 percent) are likely to shop on Small Business Saturday—even more than those who expect to shop on Black Friday (56 percent). And Deloitte projects that holiday sales will grow between 4 percent and 6 percent this year, with consumers expected to spend more than $1.45 trillion from November to January 2022.

If you own a business, these tips can help you prepare for Small Business Saturday success.

What is Small Business Saturday?

American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 as an effort to garner community support for small businesses during one of the busiest shopping weeks of the year. The next year, the Senate passed a resolution in support of the holiday.

Momentum for Small Business Saturday has grown each year since. According to American Express, U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday last year spent an estimated $23.3 billion. Collectively, American Express estimates that consumers have spent more than $163 billion supporting small businesses since the event’s inception.

Small businesses benefit from increased sales during the holiday season, which then benefits the communities they occupy. According to American Express, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business — whether it’s a retail store, restaurant or another company — stays in the community.

When is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday always falls on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which lands on Nov. 26 this year. It’s scheduled this way so that small-business owners have an opportunity to compete with larger brands as consumers get their holiday shopping underway.

How to participate in Small Business Saturday

American Express Small Business Saturday is designed to promote small businesses of all kinds, from brick-and-mortar businesses to online shops. In fact, Small Business Saturday has become more digital-friendly in recent years.

You don’t need to sign up or register your business to participate in the event. If you want to promote the event, you can do so with free marketing materials from American Express. This includes downloadable materials you can use to advertise Small Business Saturday online or in-store, including:

  • Posters and other signage that include Small Business Saturday quotes
  • Social media post graphics and copy
  • Customizable decals

The Shop Small Map makes it easy for consumers to find businesses that participate in Small Business Saturday. You can ask to be added to the map if you meet these requirements:

  • Your business accepts American Express cards as a form of payment.
  • You’re located in the 50 states, District of Columbia or a U.S. territory.
  • You have at least one but no more than 25 locations and no more than $5 million in American Express annual charge volume.
  • You’re not part of a franchise brand that has more than 250 stores; Additionally, if a franchise brand has more than 25 corporate-owned stores, then the entire brand is excluded.
  • Your business isn’t in an excluded industry.