If you haven’t heard of Small Business Saturday, or you keep pushing that email to the “it’s on my list to read” list, I’m sorry but it’s too late now. If you try now to enroll your American Express card(s), this is what you’ll find:
So, I hope you did register, because all eligible American Express cards will get you $30 today – provided you registered for Small Business Saturday.
I have 7 eligible cards. That’s $210!!!
If you did register, read the details on the website – basically, you will get a statement credit of $10 on each card for a charge of $10 – and you can do this 3 X per card. So, you can go into a store or restaurant that participates and say: I’d like to buy this $30 item, but I’d like you to ring it up as 3 separate $10 charges.
Now, look up locations and participating merchants. Visit the Shop Small Map. I find this part of the website a little slow and wonky. I’ve had best luck by either putting my zip code in the search function or the name of the particular establishment I’m interested in.
Once you’ve located restaurants, stores, salons, etc., in your neighborhood, take a walk or drive over. A good thought is to ask to buy gift certificates for future use, so you don’t have to have 8 meals for your 8 cards today. Last year I found that a lot of establishments that were technically participating in Small Business Saturday had no idea what to do, and one had its computer down so it wasn’t accepting credit cards. So, have a back up.
I went through the Shop Small map and came up with a list of local restaurants that I frequent, as well as a few new bars or restaurants that I’ve been meaning to try. This afternoon, I’ll stroll by a few of them and purchase gift certificates for future use. I might even pick up a few bottles at the wine store on my corner, another Small Business participant.
Many of the local running stores are participating in Small Business Saturday.
How do you REALLY feel about this? Is it free money? Is it guilty pleasure? Is it Christmas in November? Is it a feel good thing – because you are promoting local business? Or, since many of the cards are ones which require an annual fee, is this a good way to reduce or justify that fee?
Please write how you did today – where you “spent” your Small Business Bucks and how it went!