Does Small Business Saturday Help Main Street or American Express?


November 26, 2013

17_american-expressBy Bob Coleman
Coleman Report

I confess, I’ve heard about “Small Business Saturday,” the Saturday after Black Friday, that encourages everyone to shop locally, but haven’t paid too much attention about the coverage.

Did you know the day started only three years ago as a marketing campaign by American Express?

It’s been a huge success for AMEX, other Corporate America sponsors such as FedEx, Facebook and Twitter.

And of course, it’s also nice politicians on both side of the aisle support the day by paying lip service to the small business band wagon even while ignoring critical legislation helping Main Street.

So, does Small Business Saturday actually help Main Street?

Muses Bloomberg’s Patrick Clark, “Gauging the impact the program has had on sales in Main Street shops is trickier. Anecdotally, small business owners have reported an uptick in sales during the promotion. This year, American Express is trying to get its cardholders to shop small by offering $10 back when they spend at least $10 at a qualifying merchant but won’t say how much its cardholders have spent in previous years. AmEx surveys found that shoppers who had heard of Small Business Saturday spent $5.5 billion on that day last year, and 77% plan to shop at small businesses this Saturday, the company says. It’s hard to say how much consumers would spend at small businesses absent the promotion. “

Seems to be more hype than substance, but hey, Main Street will take all the help it can get.

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