TODAY | November 23, 2012
>>> back now at 7:43. tomorrow is a big day for small businesses all across the country. it is small business saturday, and many will be offering big discounts to get you to shop locally. american express chairman and ceo ken chenault is here to tell us more about it along with karen mills, part of president obama 's cabinet for the small business administration . ken, let me start with you. black friday, black thanksgiving night, cyber monday, why do we need a small business saturday on top of it?
>> i think the most important thing is we want to celebrate small businesses and celebrate the communities where small sinesses are, and what we've seen over the last two years, this is the third year of small business saturday. we've really built a tremendous movement, and small businesses have seen increased in sales, and that's what it's about. what small businesses want are more customers.
>> true though, ken, that small businesses kind of needed this holiday because they were getting pinched and squeezed out by things like cyber monday and black friday?
>> i think the most important thing is we wanted to celebrate small businesses . this is not big box retailers against small businesses or cyber monday, there's room for all three. what we really felt is we wanted to really put attention to small businesses , the importance that small businesses have to our economy, creating half of the private work force and two-thirds of the net new jobs.
>> karen , basic question but an important one for consumers going out today. what is a small business ? if i'm out shopping, how do i identify it?
>> as you walk down main street in the community, many peopl have people with whom they have relations. it might abdely, a cupcake shop but you can walk in that business on small business start, and they have been preparing for months now. at the small business administration we've had a web page , they have come on and gotten tips so you might see a sign in the door. you might see a shop local. you might see them right out on the corner saying please help us celebrate small business saturday. and we are saying thank you to those people in our community who have done so much. they create jobs, and they support the little league and the girl scouts , so right on saturday i'm going to be walking down main street inri roslindale in boston saying thank you to the community.
>> this is the third year you've done it. have you seen tangible results? is it actually helping beyond the one day?
>> i think we've seen an increase in sales and we've seen a carry over of people really understanding the importance of small businesses . i mean, this has real become a movement. you have over 300 community organizations that have supported small business saturday, elected officials in all 50 states . the senate passed a unanimous resolution. how often does that happen in washington?
>> that's right.
>> and last year we had the president and his two daughters shopping at a local bookstore in washington so i think what's important is, this is not just about small business saturday. it's really the kickoff for the holiday season and a kickoff for support of small business saturd saturday.
>> across the administration you're going to be seeing this again. many will be out shopping. many in my cabinet already have plans, and you probably have plans too.
>> absolutely. i'll be out tomorrow, guys. thanks so much and appreciate what you're doing, ken chenault and karen mills.
>> thank you.