Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO: Over the past five years, American Express has dangled a carrot to encourage cardholders to patronize independent stores on Small Business Saturday: statement credits from $10 to $30.

As the sixth annual homage to mom-and-pop shops starts Saturday, AmEx cardholders who make a conscious decision to forgo the big chains must settle for a warm-and-fuzzy feeling.

AmEx, a longtime promoter of Small Business Saturday, isn’t making the incentive widely available this year, according to its website.

“This year we are not offering a statement credit offer on Small Business Saturday,” the company said on the “Shop Small” section of its website. The company’s @ShopSmall Twitter page addressed questions from consumers asking about the credit.

American Express said it would continue to promote Small Business Saturday through local and national advertising.