With Black Friday coming up, all eyes are on the big retail chains, and who's going to open earliest. Your Walmarts, Best Buys, Targets...they're the ones who get a ton of press and a ton of sales.

If you're sick of it, maybe you can get behind a brilliant new Thanksgiving shopping holiday:  SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY.

American Express is behind it (which is kind of ironic, since they don't exactly scream SMALL business) but here's the idea:

On Saturday, shop at a local mom and pop business in Lubbock. Buy your dad some tools from a local hardware store instead of Home Depot.  Buy some clothes from a local boutique instead of the Gap.

Because small businesses are just important to the economy...if not MORE important...than the big guys.

According to American Express, they create HALF of the jobs in this country. And in the past 17 years, 65% of net new jobs have come from small businesses.

So far, the American Express Facebook page for Small Business Saturday has over 2.3 MILLION "Likes."  You can find it at facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.

One reason might be the discounts they're offering:  $100 worth of free advertising on Facebook for small businesses, and $25 to shoppers who register.

And based on a survey, 89 MILLION PEOPLE plan on participating in Small Business Saturday.  That's almost a third of the country.

By spending money in Lubbock...and spending it with the business owners who ALSO spend in Lubbock...it could have a bigger impact on the economy than any government bailout to a bank or big business.

(CBS News / Facebook)

You can go to the AMEX Small Business Saturday Facebook page and enter your ZIP code to find popular small businesses in your area here.



Some people are calling foul on this AMEX thing as a marketing ploy, since small businesses don't always take American Express because the merchant fees they charge are higher than other credit cards.

But you don't HAVE to use an AMEX card. Just spend your money in a local way. It's the spirit of the day that counts, and we're 100% behind it.

Here's another thing people debate:  Supporting small business doesn't mean you have to HATE ON big business. After all, they employ a ton of people, and those people spend THEIR money in the community TOO.



Then, think about all the taxes the big businesses pay.  Locally, to the state, etcetera. In other words, you don't have to demonize big business or Wall Street to get on board here. It's about making sure you ALSO support the small guy.