Ad showing three people holding ads for American Express's Shop Small map and tools.
Small Business Saturday takes place on November 26 this year. — American Express

The holiday season is around the corner, and small businesses everywhere have been pivoting to serve a post-COVID shopping landscape. As consumers return to brick-and-mortar stores in force this holiday selling season, local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and service providers can maximize the opportunity by participating in Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 26 this year and runs throughout the holiday shopping season, encourages consumers to support local businesses by shopping small. American Express launched this shopping holiday in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession, as a way of redirecting holiday shopping to local stores. A decade later, it’s observed in all 50 states, and in 2011, the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday.

In a post-COVID economy, consumers have been more than eager to jump on board and support their local small business community. For every dollar spent at a small business, American Express estimates an average of $0.68 stays in that business's local community. This has the potential to boost sales during the 2022 holiday season, with many small businesses still working to make up the revenue they’ve lost throughout the pandemic.

Here are a few ways to ride the trends and position your business for success this Small Business Saturday.

Get free marketing materials, business resources, and exposure from American Express

There's an enormous opportunity to reach consumers and increase sales during Small Business Saturday 2022.

These include a new dedicated Small Business Saturday page, Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration aimed to help SMBs grow. And to get discovered by shoppers, small businesses can add themselves to American Express’s “Shop Small” map.

Via Amex Offers for Merchants, small businesses can find exclusive savings on services ranging from website creation from Wix to FedEx shipping solutions.

American Express also provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through its Shop Small Resource Hub, where business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources that they can leverage on Small Business Saturday, too.

[Read more: Expert Advice on Winning Small Business Saturday: Five Tips to Make the Most of the Day]

New this year: Enlisting TikTok to help small businesses reach Gen Z shoppers and grow

This year, American Express has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program designed to help small business owners reach a new generation of Gen Z shoppers on Small Business Saturday.

(Amex’s Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their “For You Page,” according to American Express.)

Starting November 14, the #ShopSmall Accelerator platform will offer small business owners access to tools and resources to “think like creators” on the short-form video platform, including a tutorial at AmericanExpress.com/ShopSmallAccelerator on how their businesses can draw attention on the platform, the company said. The program also includes an offer for eligible small business owners to earn a $100 TikTok advertising credit.

This year, lifestyle creators Anna Sitar @annaxsitar and Sofia Bella @iamsofiabella, along with small business owner Brandon Blackwood @brandonblackwoodnyc, will school small business owners on how to use TikTok as a search engine; leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities; and how to fuel consumer engagement. To help small businesses get discovered by new audiences, American Express has also partnered with musical artist Chlöe @chloebaileywashere to create a “Shop Small Soundtrack,” which TikTok users can add to their content.

[Read more: Adapt These Strategies From Big Retailers to Boost Your Small Business Saturday Sales]

This year, American Express has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program designed to help small business owners reach a new generation of Gen Z shoppers on Small Business Saturday.

Launch social media and email marketing campaigns

Since Small Business Saturday has become a household name across the country, social media and email marketing campaigns focused on this shopping holiday can bring in new customers. Businesses can use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall and tag American Express’s @shopsmall social media accounts to get noticed online.

Update and optimize your small business website

Every business, especially those with e-commerce operations, should make sure their websites are up to date and mobile-friendly well before Small Business Saturday. Reaching consumers online has been key to business success in 2022 and will continue to be throughout this holiday season and beyond.

Explore American Express's content hub for small business tips, trends, and tools

American Express publishes a merchant content hub featuring valuable small business resources and expert insights ahead of Small Business Saturday. This landing page, in conjunction with small business publications like CO—, can give you the knowledge and tools you need to attract more customers, streamline your operations, and discover new trends that will help you grow.

Nicole Fallon and Ivan DeLuce contributed to this story.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published November 14, 2022