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Small Business Saturday was invented (or at the very least popularized) by American Express back in 2010.  Held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (that’s November 29 in 2014), it’s billed as a way to drive traffic to local businesses, instead of just buying everything at Walmart and Amazon 🙂


Find a Small Business

The easiest way to find a small business that is participating is to use the Shop Small Now map, which is at

Here are some examples of Small Businesses in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.


I actually find the map to be a bit clunky to use – instead of showing all of the participating merchants at once, they only show 5 at a time, and only in the specific category that you’ve chosen (Dining, Shopping, Travel, Entertainment or Services).  Still, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out merchants that you’d like to shop from

Statement Credits

Typically, American Express gives out statement credits if you shop at a participating small business with your American Express card.  2 years ago it was $25 per card, and last year it was dropped to only $10.  This year the credit is $10, but you can earn it 3 times for each card that you have.

Cards of authorized users count, as well as Bluebird and Serve, so depending on how many cards you have, you could be looking at several hundreds of dollars.


Registration for the promotion begins on November 16, and you do have to register your card to take place in the promotion.  I’ll be sure to send out a reminder once registration opens.

There are 2 ways that I see to maximize savings

  1. Buy stuff that you need and already are planning to buy.
  2. Buy gift cards ($10 at a time)

We did the latter last time – we had 5 American Express cards and I bought 5 $10 gift cards to a local movie theater which we used a few weeks later to take the family out to the movies.

What are your plans for Small Business Saturday?

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