11/24/2012 09:48 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2013

Your Favorite Local Shop Needs Your Help! Small Biz Saturday Is Upon Us!

Unlike many, who literally fought their way to savings on Black Friday, I chose to shop online and visit local merchants. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great but these days seem to pass local stores by -- well, not anymore!

Small Business Saturday is the first Saturday following "Black Friday." Black Friday and Cyber Monday focuses on big box retailers and ecommerce sites while Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to visit their local brick and mortar small businesses. Small Business Saturday was created and promoted by American Express on November 27, 2010.

Small businesses fuel the economy and Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to financially support your local merchants. This year's Small Business Saturday is November 24th, 2012 and here are a few things you can do to get the word out regardless of whether you're a local merchant or a shopper:

1. Get Paid to Shop Locally: American Express is offering a $25 rebate to AMEX card holders who shop at eligible local stores on Small Business Saturday, November 24th 2012. Visit their website.

2. Shop Small Map: Visit American Express' Small Business site for a map that allows you to search for qualifying small businesses by name and location. Click here for more information.

3. Small Business Promotion: Get the word out if you're a local store owner! Remind potential and existing customers (via Facebook and Twitter) the importance of supporting their local businesses. It's a perfect opportunity to email your customers and let them know of Saturday-Only offers.

4. Tweet for Feet: Send out targeted "Twitter Only Discounts" tweets to your followers and encourage them to retweet them. Share your admiration for your favorite store with your followers! If you're the store owner, ask your customers to be brand ambassadors.

5. Hashtags: Use #SmallBizSaturday and #AMEX with all your tweets. Let's try to get it trending on Twitter.

Reach out to me at and visit if you have any questions, thoughts or comments! I'm always looking for new ideas so let me know if you have an interesting story that needs to be told! I'll feature it on and