Small Business Saturday Quiz: Test Your Knowledge

Small business saturday

Small Business Saturday is a pretty big deal in the United States.  And savvy small business people know that and leverage it. But how much do you know about this event?  Do you know its history, how it got started and why it struck a chord with the public? Get prepared for Small Business Saturday by testing your knowledge!

Small Business Saturday Quiz


Congratulations!  You know a lot about Small Business Saturday – you passed.

#1. What year did Small Business Saturday start?

The first Small Business Saturday was in November of 2010.

It started at a time when the United States was still recovering from the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis and economic recession that followed. The goal was to give local small businesses such as restaurants and retailers a boost by helping them sell more. Read more.

#2. When does Small Business Saturday take place?

Small Business Saturday occurs once a year.  It’s always on the Saturday following Thanksgiving in the United States.  Dates for Small Business Saturday over the next 4 years will be:

  • November 30, 2019
  • November 28, 2020
  • November 27, 2021
  • November 26, 2022

Combined with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day is part of the reason that the entire week following Thanksgiving has become a non-stop, shopping extravaganza for consumers.

In fact, the rallying cry of “shop small” has turned it into a year-round movement. You can see consumers expressing their support for small businesses all year, not just during the Christmas holiday season.

#3. What percent of consumers say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop at small businesses all year long?

A stunning 96% of people who shop on Small Business Saturday say it makes them want to shop at small businesses year round!  That’s according to a survey by American Express.

That lasting impact is what makes the #shopsmall movement special.  Unlike national taco day or Valentine’s Day, people feel like they are supporting a worthy cause bigger than shopping when they support Small Business Saturday.  Long after the day has passed they feel inspired to support small businesses.

#4. How much do consumers spend on Small Business Saturday at small establishments?

In 2018, consumers spent $17.8 billion at small retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. For many small businesses, much of their revenue and profit comes during the last two months of each year.  And Small Business Saturday has helped.

According to the American Express website, this number is an estimate. It reflects “the average spend as reported by consumers in surveys commissioned by American Express reporting spend habits on Small Business Saturday of consumers who were aware of the day. It does not reflect actual receipts or sales.”  Read more.

#5. Small Business Saturday was founded by:

Small Business Saturday was conceived by American Express as a rallying cry around small businesses. A decade later, American Express continues to lend its support.

Small Business Saturday is not a government program. For instance, it is not part of the SBA and does not rely on Federal taxpayer funding.

Still, Small Business Saturday is one of the few things that gets almost universal support:

  • The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting it in 2011.
  • The President typically gives it out a shout out.
  • The Small Business Administration encourages participation.
  • State and local governments participate, galvanizing community support.
  • Community organizations and chambers of commerce participate.
  • Business organizations like SCORE and Small Business Development Centers encourage it.
  • Virtually all large corporations support it in some way.
  • Small business owners and consumers alike enthusiastically embrace the day.

#6. Which person drove implementation of the first Small Business Saturday?

If any one person could be identified as the main driver behind Small Business Saturday, it’s Susan Sobbott. At the time she was the President of American Express OPEN.  It was her vision, leadership and energy that got it off the ground and made it a rousing success from the first year.

The daughter of a small business owner herself, she recognized what small business owners needed. “More than anything else, they need more customers,” she said in an interview at the time.

She went on to add, “Small Business Saturday can be the first of many days when businesses and consumers consciously make the decision to consider shopping small. Even better is if they tell their friends, family, and colleagues about the initiative so that they, too, can think about shopping at small businesses.”   Read: Small Business Saturday, An Inside Look

#7. What is the tagline of Small Business Saturday?

“Shop small” or its equivalent hashtag of #shopsmall has been used almost since the beginning.

Since 2011 it has become a slogan and insignia for the movement. In fact, the slogan has become so popular that some people use it as a rallying cry to support small businesses year round.  In fact, it’s called the Shop Small Movement.

“Shop small” is a registered service mark of American Express.

#8. Which social media giant was the first to partner with Small Business Saturday?

Facebook was the first social media company to support Small Business Saturday in a highly visible way.

In fact, Facebook’s early support helped drive popularity among consumers. To this day Small Business Saturday has a vibrant and thriving Facebook page.

Other social platforms show support for Small Business Saturday, but Facebook is the epicenter.

#9. What technique below is NOT a good way to promote your business for Small Business Saturday?

Threatening to go out of business is never a good marketing technique.

A better approach is to be positive. Take a few moments to highlight a special offer. Or make shopping a fun and special experience that day. Or simply thank customers for their support.

In other words, focus on the customer and the benefits he or she will get. Make the customer feel good about supporting your business.


#10. Is there a badge to show support for Small Business Saturday?

Yes. Small business owners, consumers and community organizations alike display materials with the Shop Small badge on them.

The Shop Small Studio on the official website has a lot of marketing materials, including marketing tips, badges, flyers, videos, email headers and other collateral. You can customize everything with your business name on it — and it’s all free.

The image at the top of this quiz was generated using the Shop Small Studio.  And took us less than 5 minutes.  It’s that’s easy.


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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

4 Reactions
  1. This is cool. I get to learn a lot more about Small Business Saturday because of this quiz.

  2. Admittedly I didn’t realize how large a part AMEX had played in the creation of the day. Good for them!