The American Express Company is sponsoring its third annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Nancy O’Connell, owner of nancy O, the gift, fashion and knitting boutique at 23 Catoonah Street, has participated in the program since its inception. This year her participation has a new twist: She and her shop are featured in a 60-second radio spot run by Clear Channel Communications, which owns 850 radio stations in 150 cities and is partnering with American Express to promote the program.
“I recorded the spot at the Clear Channel building in New York City’s Tribeca district the Monday before Hurricane Sandy hit,” she said. “My sister, who has a shop in New Jersey, is featured in one of the campaign’s spots, and when they asked for names of other store owners, she suggested me!”
The spot will air at various times on Clear Channel stations Z100 (100.3 FM on the dial) and WLTW 106.7 FM, which serve the metropolitan New York area.
“Before American Express created Small Business Saturday, we had Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Ms. O’Connell noted. “American Express came up with this program for Saturday as a national initiative to encourage people to shop at local, independently owned merchants in their community.”
Customers who use their Amex card at small businesses on Nov. 24 will receive a $25 credit on their statement, provided they spend $25 or more and register their card. Clear Channel is supporting the initiative by creating national radio spots that showcase local business success stories.
Ms. O’Connell is enthusiastic about the program. “The first year, 2010, my sales rose by 50% on Small Business Saturday, and three quarters of my customers used an Amex card. Last year sales increased another 20%.
“It is a great program. Merchants love the increased business and customers love the $25 credit.”
She added that nancy O opens early — at 8 a.m. — on Small Business Saturday.
During the holidays it will continue to open early and offer coffee and doughnuts on Saturdays. Throughout the holiday season the store will be open Monday through Wednesday 10 to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 to 5:30 and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.