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With an Eye Towards Discount Offers, Small Merchants Expect Holiday Sales Boost from Small Business Saturday, According to



  With an Eye Towards Discount Offers, Small Merchants Expect Holiday Sales
  Boost from Small Business Saturday, According to NFIB/AXP Research

   American Express Releases Small Business Saturday Merchant Toolkit with
 Resources to Help Drive More Business to Small Business on November 24, 2012

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- November 08, 2012

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, more small-business owners are
making Small Business Saturday an integral factor in their holiday sales
plans. According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey,
released today by the  National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)
and American Express, 46 percent of independent merchants plan to incorporate
Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy, and the majority
(67 percent) of them say they will offer discounts on November 24^th.

Of those small business owners planning to promote Small Business Saturday, 80
percent expect a year-over-year boost in sales on that day, and discounts and
special offers for consumers are one of the key incentives to drive consumers
to ‘shop small’.

Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves
as the traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season for independent
retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business
owners' most pressing need: more customers.

“Research has shown that American consumers have a deep trust in, and
admiration for, the small business community. Small Business Saturday gives
them a chance to show their appreciation – and help America’s essential job
creators in a very real way – by patronizing small shops, restaurants and
service providers,” said NFIB CEO Dan Danner. “And anything that helps with
sales is certainly appreciated by small business owners, many of whom have
struggled to stay afloat in a rough and uncertain economy.”

While many small business owners will be focusing on driving value to
customers through discounts, there are a number of ways that they are planning
to take advantage of the opportunity to drive consumers to “shop small.”
According to the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey:

  * 46 percent will create coupons for future offers or discounts;
  * 25 percent will offer free gift wrapping;
  * 23 percent will giveaway prizes or hosts contests; and,
  * 20 percent will give away free items with purchase.

The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey was created to provide a window
into the 2012 holiday planning for small business owners. Other survey
findings include:

  * 81 percent say Small Business Saturday would be more effective if their
    communities came together and hosted events;
  * 34 percent say Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day
    during holiday season, compared to 24 percent who cited Black Friday and
    14 percent who cited Cyber Monday (37 percent said they were all equally
    important);
  * 28 percent intend to increase the number of employees who will work on
    Small Business Saturday; and,
  * 87 percent will be active in social media channels to promote Small
    Business Saturday:

       * 96 percent of those will be using Facebook (33 percent will use
         Twitter, 15 percent will use Google+ and 15 percent will use
         Pinterest).

“In just three years, Small Business Saturday went from an idea to help Small
Business find more customers, to a permanent fixture on the holiday shopping
calendar,” said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. “According to
the research, we are seeing the small business community take ownership of the
day and make it their own.”

American Express remains committed to helping all small business owners
amplify their Small Business Saturday promotional activity. For the third year
in a row, American Express is offering a merchant toolkit on www.ShopSmall.com
that includes:

  * Free Downloadable Marketing Materials – This Small Business Saturday,
    business owners will have turnkey assets that they can customize to better
    promote their businesses. These tools (available at
    www.ShopSmall.com/marketing-resources) include:

       * Online banners and logos  – Digital offerings to promote small
         businesses on their blogs, websites or anywhere else online;
       * Signage  – Two 11”x17” pieces of signage (which can be professionally
         printed for free at FedEx Office® if they choose to take advantage of
         FedEx’s offer) to help attract customers in-store or around town.
         Small business owners can visit shopsmall.com/fedexoffice to access
         the Small Business Saturday posters and see the FedEx Offer Terms.
         FedEx Office will also provide additional discount printing offers to
         small business owners when they pick up their posters;
       * Social media and email templates – Preloaded posts, blog examples,
         tweets and emails to help drive traffic;

  * Free Geo-Targeted Online Advertising – New this year, qualifying small
    business owners can personalize an online geo-targeted ad – to appear on a
    number of online advertising platforms– to reach consumers in their area.
    Small business owners can find out if they qualify and learn more at:
    www.ShopSmall.com/business-advertising Free Ads are available through
    November 19, 2012 or while supplies last. Media Inventory is limited.
    Terms of Participation apply to small business participation;
  * Success Stories –  Small business owners can get inspired by what other
    entrepreneurs did last year to make Small Business Saturday a success.
    Success stories include a “What We Did” and “The Results” section and are
    available here: www.ShopSmall.com/success-stories;
  * “Rally Your Community” – A new section of the site
    (www.shopsmall.com/#involve_community) designed to connect consumers and
    small businesses as well as inspire local events on Small Business
    Saturday.

In addition, American Express is providing small businesses access to free
tools and offers to attract customers beyond Small Business Saturday. A small
business can use these tools and offers to:

  * Easily create a Facebook business page;
  * Enhance its Facebook business page with customizable professional
    templates by Pagemodo;
  * Create a customized website through Yola;
  * Create a YouTube video to market its business with My Business Story  by
    Google and American Express;
  * Get a Twitter “Follow” button for its website;

More information can be found at the “Free Biz Tools” tab on
www.facebook.com/ShopSmall.

For the second year running, FedEx gave away $1 million worth of American
Express Shop Small Gift Cards, each worth $25, to consumers via Facebook
(www.facebook.com/fedex). This year, winners of the 40,000 gift cards were
selected at random from among all eligible entrants, and entrants will be
notified of their status and provided with a coupon to save $10 on a $20.00
FedEx Express shipment via email on or about November 9. Cards will be mailed
to the winners for delivery by November 21. There are no consumer fees of any
kind associated with the American Express Shop Small Gift Card. For additional
information on the FedEx Gift Card give-away, visit fedex.com/giftcard.

About the Survey

The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally
representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with
physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a
franchise. The sample was collected using lists of retail establishments. In
order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees. No
quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural
representation of retailers. The average number of employees of all
establishments in the survey was 5.7 (with the vast majority falling in the
0-5 range). The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift
Research between September 25^th and October 12^th, 2012. The survey has a
margin of error of +/- 4.38%, at the 95% level of confidence.

About Small Business Saturday

November 24th marks the third annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support
the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve
neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday (SBS) was created in
2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more customers.
In 2011, more than 2.7 million Facebook users, 230 public and private
organizations, 75 corporations and elected officials in all 50 states and
Washington D.C. declared their support for SBS. Last year, more than 500,000
small business owners leveraged an online tool or promotional materials for
SBS and 15,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising to promote
their products and services in the run up to SBS. American Express is the
founding partner of SBS.

About NFIB

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in
Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a
voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s
powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state
and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a
critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission
is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow
their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at
www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50471467&lang=en

Multimedia
Available:http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50471467&lang=en

Contact:

M Booth
Matt Hantz, 212-539-3276
or
NFIB
Cynthia Magnuson-Allen, 202-314-2036
or
American Express
Scott Krugman, 212-640-3244
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