Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most people know about those two huge holiday season shopping days, but do you know about Small Business Saturday? This year, in its second year of existence, American Express, which sponsors the event, is teaming with foursquare to offer American Express cardmembers an impressive discount.
Most people know that Cyber Monday is the first business day after Thanksgiving, thus advertised as the biggest online shopping day of the year, as it is the first day that many online shoppers have access to broadband. Nearly everyone knows about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when brick-and-mortar retailers --- and online retail giants like Amazon.com --- roll out huge sales promotions to kick of the holiday shopping season.
Small Business Saturday is smack dab in between those two dates, and in 2011 is Nov. 26. It aims to encourage shoppers to support their local small businesses, as opposed to the retail and Internet giants they "support" on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
There are more than 100,000 business participating in Small Business Saturday. foursquare users will be able to find nearby ones by opening the foursquare app, tapping Explore and then Specials. Then comes the best part: foursquare users who "check in" and spend $25 or more on their American Express cards at a participating retailer will receive a $25 credit on their American Express bill.
Of course, since American Express isn't accepted "everywhere," you'll have to make sure the retailer accepts it, first, but that's a hurdle Amex probably isn't going to broadcast.
A couple of tips: when using foursquare, be sure to expand your radius out to 10 miles to be able to see them all. Also, don't forget to sync your card with foursquare before Small Business Saturday to be eligible for the discount.
Then, when when you check in at a participating business, you'll see a special "load to card" button. Tap it, pay with your American Express card (remember, $25 or more), and you’ll get a notification from foursquare; the credit will show up on your statement about 5 business days later.
Nicely, this is all automated by American Express. You don't have to worry about the business' employees not understand what you're talking about with regard to a foursquare promotion, as sometimes happens.
You can find the official Small Business Saturday website here. At the official site, you can see that more than 2.3 million people have liked "Small Business Saturday" on Facebook, at the time of this writing.
You can watch an American Express video promoting Small Business Saturday above.