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American Express continues to support small business with holiday shopping tools

To prepare for Small Business Saturday, American Express is offering a number of tools and resources for small businesses to connect with consumers and make the most of the holidays.

The resources include classes, online resources and programs to encourage growth for small businesses, who often struggle to compete during the holidays. American Express hopes to encourage consumers to support their community and shop local.

“With the heightened use of mobile among consumers, more businesses are using social to target and engage,” said Amy Marino, Vice President and Head of Small Business Saturday at American Express. “Through the newly launched multi-media content hub ‘Small Business Saturday 101? on, small businesses can get tips from experts and influencers on the best ways to use social to target customers.”

Mobile resources
The holiday season is just around the corner, and it is the biggest time of the year for retailers. It dwarfs other times of the year in terms of sales seen from retailers.

But in a time that is usually seen as prosperous for many big brands, small businesses can sometimes struggle to compete with the massive marketing budgets and brand visibility of larger retailers.

To help alleviate some of that pressure, American Express created Small Business Saturday to be a day to celebrate smaller stores and businesses and give them the support and attention they need to keep up with brands like Macy’s and Target.

American Express is using this year’s Small Business Saturday to help educate small business owners on the power of marketing and help them boost their digital marketing presence.

Some of the tools and resources at hand include free marketing assets creation and hands-on mentoring from industry experts.

The Shop Small studio, housed on Small Business Saturday’s hub site, is a tool that lets small business owners create, modify and keep marketing assets that can be used for online, in-store and mobile campaigns.

Hands-on resources
In addition to these digital resources, American Express is also offering hands-on mentoring in three major cities from entrepreneurs and influencers. A workshop led by Rhonda Abrams, President and Founder of The Planning Shop, as well as interactive panels with other small business owners will be available in Chicago, New York and San Francisco to give small business owners direct advice and guidance on how best to market their business.

Finally, a program called Neighborhood Champions will encourage small business owners and community leaders to organize events on Small Business Strategy to help support local businesses and encourage community members to go out and do more local shopping.

Small businesses can be fertile territory for mobile marketing. Apps like Retale and Yelp already focus on helping consumers find businesses that are nearby and convenient in addition to being of high quality.

American Express has helped consumers who are interested in a more local experience before in its partnership with Airbnb to target business travelers (see story).

The credit card provider has also flirted with the idea of contextual and local shopping in the form of a chatbot it created in partnership with Facebook earlier this year (see story).

The brand is continuing that dedication to local businesses with Small Business Saturday and its suite of tools and resources to help smaller businesses get their name out.

Small businesses have the opportunity to jump start their holiday sales by taking advantage of the busiest shopping weekend of the year and participating in Small Business Saturday,” Ms. Marino said. “95 million consumers shopped at a small business on Small Business Saturday, spending a total of $16.2 billion.

“To put their best foot forward, small businesses can take advantage of new, free and easily customizable materials offered by American Express this year.”