We’ve all heard of Black Friday, but the most recent addition to the opening weekend of the holiday shopping season is Small Business Saturday. This is the counterpart to what the big box retailers reap the benefit of during Black Friday. Small Business Saturday is meant to celebrate the little guys: the independent retail stores, the mom and pop shops, and local businesses of all kinds.

So, what is Small Business Saturday?

Well, according to Wikipedia, Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively.

Made famous by American Express with their Shop Small® program to entice consumers to support local businesses. Independent retailers and store owners can take part in this program by snagging personalized marketing materials including digital banners and signage. Consumers can take part by viewing a map of local businesses that are participating and shopping with these stores on November 29, 2014 (or the first Saturday after Thanksgiving).

How to Promote your Business & Invite Customers to Shop Small

Create an Event

Create an event to entice customers to visit your store on this day. Offer promotional incentives, specials, discounts and giveaways to allow them to do most of their holiday shopping with you. Promote the event through your email list, on your Facebook page, Twitter feed and create a Facebook event that you share with all of your friends, family and followers. During this event, include drinks & snacks to encourage them to stay in your store longer, to shop more.

Put Yourself on the Map

Add your business to the American Express Shop Small map. Just in case consumers look for you there, you want to be on the list. Add your business here >>

Signage & Banners

Print signage and banners to display around your store to let customers know that you will be taking part. Encourage them to come back on Saturday to shop the specials.

Email & Social Media

Snag email templates and social media posts to share through the Shop Small program. Not sure what to say? They’ll give you the exact words and images to spread the news. You can also get free online ads to use and the Shop Small logo to add to your website or to put on your own local ads or flyers.

For more ways to participate in the American Express Shop Small® program, visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small.