Small Business Saturday is an annual post-Thanksgiving shopping event taking place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday that aims to connect more consumers with local entrepreneurs and their products. To achieve this, the SBA and American Express host the “Shop Small” map, which recommends local storefronts to consumers, provided the owner registers their business beforehand. Companies can also take advantage of the holiday season by launching sales and marketing campaigns during the event, allowing them to gain traction online.
To sign up for Small Business Saturday, owners simply need to verify their enterprise by signing in to or creating an account on American Express’s merchant profile page. For new registrants, the portal will ask for an Employer Identification Number and company zip code, while those with a current Merchant Services account can simply input their Merchant ID or access code. From here, simply navigate to the map, click on “Show on Shop Small Map,” and input the business’s location. Errors or missing information, such as phone numbers, can be fixed by clicking on the edit icons. Changes need to be manually saved by clicking on the “save” button. It is recommended that companies create their account early since it can take several days for their storefront to appear on the map. No fee is required for signup.
American Express originally created Small Business Saturday with the goal of assisting brick-and-mortar retail stores in their efforts to attract local customers. In the age of e-commerce, however, the event has evolved to also aid businesses in growing brand awareness on a national level through digital retail. With the additional support and influence of the SBA, the “shopping holiday” has helped generate $184 billion in revenue across U.S. small businesses since its launch in 2010.