Friday, the Money section of Time magazine reported that American Express will no longer offer a consumer statement credit of $10 or $25 per purchase on Small Business Saturday; the news has created an Internet buzz. American Express started the Small Business Saturday trend in 2010 to follow Black Friday, in an effort to get people shopping “small” at their local retailers. The same year, American Express also started the trend to offer statement credits for each registered card that showed a purchase at a small business on Small Business Saturday. Each year, the statement credit varied. Last year, three separate purchases of $10 could be made for each registered card.
American Express card holders looked forward to the event each year because of the statement credit. In fact, last year 88 million people shopped at a small business, according to the American Express Shop Small website.
Saturday, in an email the customer service department at American Express responded to the question about the statement credit:
“This year we are not offering a statement credit offer for Card Members on Small Business Saturday, but are instead increasing the support and resources we provide to help small business owners market the day within their communities and truly make it their own. As a consumer, you are a key part in helping small businesses thrive. By shopping or dining at small businesses throughout the year, you’re showing your support for the small businesses in your neighborhood and reinvesting in the community you call home.”
This year, American Express is including more marketing materials about the event to the small businesses. Many of the marketing materials have been used by small businesses in the past. The materials include logos, window stickers, save the date cards, events guides, rugs, etc. It sounds as though that statement credit money will be put towards having more marketing in the stores to remind people to shop small.
The Money section of Time magazine reported that some American Express customers will be offered a $10 credit during the month of November if they shop at Small Business Saturday, but this deal is only be offered to certain customers. This deal is not being advertised with the same shop small vigor.
The day after Thanksgiving is considered Black Friday, and it is the busiest shopping day of the year for retailers and consumers, and retailers fight for attention from consumers. Retailers begin promoting their holiday sales at the beginning of November. Each year, every retailer will promote their holiday sale items several weeks in advance and some add deals at the last minute. Sales continue throughout the month of December, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest discounted days of the year. Every major retailer including Walmart, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Apple, and Game Stop have Black Friday ads that they release. To read more about the 2015 Black Friday sales at Target, Amazon, and Target, click here.