Credit card company American Express will celebrate “Small Business Saturday” for the first time in Puerto Rico on Nov. 30. Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, “Small Business Saturday” is a day to support the local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy.
American Express created the event in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. At present, “Small Business Saturday” is a major event in the United States that has grown into an annual celebration of the independent businesses that boost the local economy.
Given the excitement generated within this important sector of the economy, American Express is extending the celebration to Puerto Rico, with the expectation that it will contribute to the sales effort of small retailers on the island “during a year that offers fewer days to shop between Thanksgiving Day and the arrival of Christmas,” the credit card company said.
As an incentive for shoppers, American Express will give card members a special offer for shopping on “Small Business Saturday.” Members who register an eligible American Express Card will get a one-time $10 statement credit when they use it to spend $10 or more on Saturday, in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday map.
For small business owners, American Express will provide free digital and in-store marketing tools to help them to expand their local footprint on “Small Business Saturday” and throughout the holiday season.
Puerto Rico’s small businesses will likely get another boost during this year’s holiday shopping season, given that on Monday, Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla confirmed that annual Christmas bonuses given to public employees will not be moved up to coincide with Black Friday sales, as they will be handed out between Dec. 1-15, as per the law authorizing such disbursements.
The United Retailers Association, the trade group representing small businesses in Puerto Rico, received the news positively. In a statement, Enid Monge, president of the group, said by holding off on giving out Christmas bonuses, the government is giving small retailers a chance to become a “real option” for consumers.
“For Puerto Rico, it is imminent and necessary to maintain a balance among all sectors of our economy. It is our intention that all the money spent on Black Friday is invested in the local business,” she said.
Meanwhile, the SBA, which is supporting the event, said it is an opportunity for consumers to show their support to the community.
“Small businesses are the foundation of our economy – more than half of our workers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands either own or work for a small business,” said SBA Acting District Director María de los Ángeles de Jesús. “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show our support for our friends and neighbors who throughout the year are growing our local economy, as well as supporting many local initiative and organizations.”