Each year, retailers compete with each other to offer the best deals on Black Friday. But what about small businesses? Thankfully, small and mid-size businesses can participate in Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 26 this year.

American Express® is the founding partner of Small Business Saturday®, which was created to encourage communities to celebrate the contributions of small businesses and the value of "shopping small." Here are some tips on how you can make the most out of this shopping holiday.

Small Businesses Are the Backbone of the U.S. Economy

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses are those that have fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses are responsible for a huge portion of the United States' gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, according to the SBA, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the United States in 2013. These millions of small businesses comprised 99.9 percent of all firms. Furthermore, small businesses were responsible for 63.3 percent of net new jobs that were created from the third quarter of 1992 to the third quarter of 2013. Small Business Saturday gives holiday shoppers an opportunity to celebrate and support the many small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S.

How to Take Advantage of This Year's Small Business Saturday

1. Make a Plan

In order to make the most out of Small Business Saturday, you need to have a plan in place. You may want to offer special deals on this shopping holiday to attract potential customers. If you do, make sure to get the word out about these deals through various channels. For example, you can let your audience know that you're celebrating this shopping holiday through emails and social media posts.

2. Get the Official Resources

American Express offers official #ShopSmall resources to make it easy to market yourself. Simply visit the Shop Small site and download a packet of marketing materials. This packet allows you to create free, custom downloadable marketing materials for your social networks, site and storefront. American Express also offers standard, ready-to-use Small Business Saturday marketing materials.

Small Business Saturday

3. Share Your Status as a Small Business

Use the #ShopSmall hashtag on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to get engaged in the ongoing small business conversation. And promote yourself as a small business throughout the holidays. Remind prospective customers about the value of flourishing small businesses in your community, and encourage them to shop with you this season.

During the holidays, you can do your part to encourage shoppers to shop small by practicing what you preach. When it comes time to buy gifts for your friends and loved ones, take this opportunity to support other local small businesses.

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