Shop Small Saturday
Small Business Saturday started as a campaign launched by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010, to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season. The day became official in 2011 when Washington State mayors, governors, senators and President Obama shared their support for Small Business Saturday.
In 2012, American Express amplified the campaign by helping small business owners promote their businesses. The credit card company offered small business owners free personalized ads to spread across the web. That year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small businesses nationwide. By 2013, communities began celebrating the holiday by pledging support to their local businesses and organizations.
In 2015, the number of people who shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday increased by 8% from 2014 to more than 95 million people and spending reached $16.2 billion. Consumer spending has continued to grow with online shopping becoming a more common way for small businesses to sell their products. Online spending grew 13% between 2019 and 2020 and continued to grow at a slower rate of 2% in 2021.
Today, most Americans know what Small Business Saturday is and, of those who participate, nearly all recognize how important the holiday is to their communities.