By Jill Colvin
CITY HALL — Mayor Michael Bloomberg will christen Nov. 27 "Small Business Saturday" in an attempt to boost the important role small businesses play in the city's economic engine.
While big box stores have Black Friday and online outlets have Cyber Monday, locally-owned small businesses have been left out of the pre-Christmas craze, said American Express CEO and Chairman Kenneth Chenault, who joined the mayor to announce the initiative at City Hall Monday.
Chenault, who approached the mayor with the idea, said he envisions the 27th as a day when everyone across the country comes together to show their support for independent, local merchants in their neighborhoods and "makes a special effort to shop small."
The mayor has long touted small business as the backbone of the city’s economy.
He said he hopes the idea will "give the economy a big shot in the arm."
"We just shouldn’t stand around here and complain. We have to pull together and do something," Bloomberg said.
To boost the effort, AmEx will be running a number of promotions, including giving away $25 credits to 100,000 of its cardholders who register and shop at locally-owned small businesses that day.
The company will also be giving 100,000 business owners who sign up $100 in free Facebook ads, Chenault said.