Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – there’s a shopping day for everything at this time of year. But this year’s sixth annual Small Business Saturday will be missing one key factor: incentives for American Express credit card holders, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
American Express had offered its customers $10-$30 credits on their statements for participating in Small Business Saturday, a promotion the company started in 2010 to encourage consumers to shop and buy locally from smaller mom and pop shops instead of big box stores.
American Express said it would continue to help small businesses to create events and promotions that would be relevant for shoppers in their own communities.
“For the first five years, the offer was a way to encourage our customers to make a habit of shopping at small businesses as they begin the holiday season. Coming onto the sixth year, Amex is pleased to say that in 2014 thousands of communities and 88 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday,” said Sravanthi Agrawal, a vice president for public affairs and communications for American Express, in a statement issued to International Business Times. “This year, Amex is not offering a statement credit offer for card members on Small Business Saturday, but is increasing the support and resources it provides to help small business owners market their business within their communities.”
The end of incentives has left some shoppers upset, but retailers are still preparing for the day in full force, with more than half of American shoppers aware of it.
@ShopSmall I'm going to shop big since you are no longer offering credits
— Gustav Schmidt (@gustav316) November 21, 2015
"We'll have a big staff presence in the store on Small Business Saturday," said Kyle Miller, a store manager at Runner’s Edge, the Chicago Tribune reported. Miller said he hopes Small Business Saturday will help his store attract new customers.
Sales during this year’s Small Business Saturday could exceed $14 billion with consumers willing to pay more to support their local community businesses, CNBC reported. During last year’s shopping day, approximately $14.3 billion was spent at local businesses.
The governor of North Carolina also chimed in:
Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday! Show your support for NC's 800k small businesses by buying local 2morrow & throughout the year! #ncpol
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) November 27, 2015