(NEW YORK) -- Now that the dust from Black Friday has settled in shopping malls and megastores across the country, small businesses are hoping for big returns on the country's first ever Small Business Saturday.
Firmly planted between Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- when online retailers offer huge sales -- Small Business Saturday was designed to encourage shoppers across the U.S. to support local merchants in their holiday shopping as a means of driving up local economies.
Over a dozen advocacies along with public and private organizations have joined American Express, the event's primary sponsor, to raise awareness about the importance of small business to local communities.
To support the cause, American Express is offering its cardholders a $25 statement credit on purchases of at least $25 on Small Business Saturday at locally owned independent small businesses.
According to a 2004 study by the Economic Impact, for every $100 consumers spend at a local business, $68 remains in the local economy, whereas only $43 remains in the local economy when that $100 is spent at a chain store. Over the past two decades, small businesses created 65 percent of net new jobs.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio