Since 2010, American Express has promoted small business via Small Businesses Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Working with Twitter, the goal is to help independents gain sales and growth during the holiday shopping season. They do this by providing FREE marketing materials, toolkits and even interactive neighborhood maps for business owners to reach their customers.
Over the years, American Express will continued to build the Small Business Saturday brand, through it’s Facebook page with 3.3+ million likes, and with tweets promoting the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall. IN 2012 Small Business Saturday helped drive $5.5 billion in sales to independent merchants across the United States.
As this continues to grow, eyecare professionals should and can synergize with other small businesses as well as American Express to promote buying local and small. Some important statistics that you can promote starting now and put on your website is:
- Small businesses donate on average 250% more to non-profits in communities.
- Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the most jobs to locals. In fact, Small businesses create seven of every ten new jobs that are created according to the House Committee on Small Businesses. Small businesses account for 39 percent of the nation’s GDP.
- Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
- Studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned businesses, more of the money spend with independents goes toward benefiting the community as a whole. For every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the local economy compared to only $43 if spent at a national chain, according to a Civic Economics study on Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2008.
- Small businesses make each community unique.
Our advice- Go to their website NOW and Facebook page (and you do NOT have to have an American Express Card) and download the free resources and marketing materials. (Shop Small) Start now, so you can maximize the next four weeks of promoting Small Business Saturday.