Skip to main content
Start of menu
Close Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Shop Small® and how is American Express involved?

    Shop Small® is a nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive. As the founding partner, American Express has created resources that can help your business stand out and reach and attract new customers throughout the year.

  2. What resources are available to my business and how can I access them?

    If you are a qualifying American Express® Card accepting small merchant, you can include your business location(s) on the Shop Small Map or online directory. Once you’ve included your business on the map or directory, you can create personalized marketing materials including printable signage, digital banners, email templates, and more. Several times during the year you’ll also have the opportunity to apply for free online ads which, if approved, will be displayed to potential customers in your service area.

  3. Do I need to sign up to take advantage of these resources?

    All you need to do is make sure you‘ve included your business on the Shop Small Map or online directory. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have access to available resources.

  4. What is a qualifying American Express Card accepting small merchant?

    Qualifying merchants are those located within the 50 United States, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Armed Forces Pacific, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau that have 25 or fewer locations. Qualifying merchants in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands must have 10 or fewer locations and must not have headquarters in the 50 U.S. States or D.C. Additionally, all merchants must meet certain American Express annual charge volume requirements.

    Businesses in the following industries are excluded: government agencies, public administration, charities, non-profits, trade associations, shopping property management companies, direct sellers, and political organizations. Small businesses that are part of a franchise brand with more than 100 stores are excluded. Additionally, if a franchise brand has more than 20 corporate-owned stores, then the entire brand is excluded. Businesses that accept American Express Cards solely through a third-party payment aggregator or affiliate are excluded.

    Additional eligibility criteria apply for free online ads. See Terms of Participation for full details.

  5. How is Shop Small different from Small Business Saturday®? Will there be a Small Business Saturday in 2014?

    Small Business Saturday is the cornerstone of American Express’s Shop Small efforts. While Small Business Saturday is highlighted as a special day when we can show our support as a nation for small business owners and our communities, the Shop Small Movement is a year-round campaign to celebrate and support small businesses every day.

    The next Small Business Saturday will be on November 29th, 2014.

  6. My business was included on a previous map. Am I still listed?

    The qualification criteria for the Shop Small program may change from time to time. Review the current qualification criteria to see if your business location(s) qualifies to be listed on the map or directory. If you qualify, go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and log in to review and update your customer-facing information. To ensure that your business is included on the map or directory, check the box next to “Include this listing on the map” and confirm your preferences.

  7. Is there any cost to my business to be a part of Shop Small?

    No. These resources are fully funded by American Express and are provided to qualifying small merchants at no cost.

  8. How do I add/update my business location on the map and access other marketing materials including free online ads?

    To get started, you must first log in to the Merchant Site:

    • Go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and click “Go now”.
    • On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to log in with your Merchant Site User ID, or create one. When setting up your account for the first time, be sure to complete Step 1 “Create Profile” and Step 2 “Connect Account”. To complete Step 2, you’ll need your 10-digit Merchant Number or Access Code. This number can be located on your monthly statement or by contacting your service provider. Be sure to connect all of your business locations to your User ID.
    • Please note that Step 3 of the registration process, “Manage Finances”, is optional and only necessary if you want to view payments and manage disputes online.
  9. I don’t have a Merchant Number or Access Code because I accept American Express Cards through a third-party payments aggregator. Can I log in?

    No. Merchants who accept American Express Cards solely through a third-party payment aggregator do not qualify to be included on the Shop Small Map, online directory or to apply for free online ads.

  10. My business does not currently accept American Express Cards. Where can I learn more about becoming an American Express merchant?

    Learn more here or call 1-855-TAKE-AMEX (1-855-825-3263).

  1. What is the Shop Small® Map and online directory?

    The Shop Small Map displays qualifying small businesses with a physical business location. The online directory within the Shop Small Map lists qualifying small businesses that only accept online transactions or those that do not have a physical business location.

  2. What businesses are included on the Shop Small Map or online directory? Is there any cost?

    Your business can be included on the Shop Small Map or online directory if you meet our qualification criteria. There is no cost to be included.

  3. I tried searching for my business on the Shop Small Map or online directory, but it did not appear in the search results. What can I do?

    There are a few reasons why your business may not appear in the search results:

    • You may not qualify. Review the qualification criteria
    • You may need to include your business on the Shop Small Map or online directory. Go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and log in to review and update your customer-facing information. Make sure to check the box next to “Include this listing on the map” and confirm your preferences.
    • If you have already included your business location and updated your information through the Merchant Shop Small Page, it may take up to 3 weeks to see your business location appear on the map or online directory.
    • If you have previously removed your business from a Shop Small campaign, your business will not appear. You will need to notify us that you wish to include your business location on the Shop Small Map or online directory. Please call 1-800-235-8916.
  4. My business has a physical location but I also operate online. Can my business be included on both the Shop Small Map and the online directory?

    Each location displayed on the map or online directory is tied to a unique Merchant Number/Access Code, therefore you must indicate one preference per Merchant Number/Access Code. If you have separate Merchant Numbers/Access Codes for your physical store and your online business, you may include one on the map and one on the online directory. However, if you use the same Merchant Number/Access Code for both parts of your business, you must choose to be listed either on the map or the online directory, but not both.

  5. I provide a service, such as personal fitness training, and I don’t have a storefront or online store. Can I be included on the Shop Small Map or online directory?

    Yes. You can include your business on the online directory within the Shop Small Map. This directory is for businesses that do not have a storefront.

  6. How do I remove my business from the Shop Small Map?

    Go to the Merchant Shop Small Page, log in and uncheck the box next to “Include this listing on the map” and confirm your preferences. By removing your business, you will not be eligible to apply for free online ads. It may take up to 3 weeks for your business to be removed.

  7. My business is listed incorrectly on the Shop Small Map or online directory. How can I update it?

    Go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and log in to review and update your customer-facing information.

  8. I think my business should qualify to be on the Shop Small Map, but when I log in from the Merchant Shop Small Page, I don’t see the option to update my listing or apply for free online ads.

    If you do not have access at this time, it may be because you do not qualify. Review the qualification criteria. For further clarification, please contact 1-800-235-8916.

    If you recently signed up to accept American Express Cards, it may take up to 3 weeks from your signing date to receive access.

  9. I logged in from the Merchant Shop Small Page, but some of my business locations are missing.

    Please update your profile to add any missing locations. You will need your Merchant Number or Access Code for each location you wish to add. If you have recently opened a new location, please keep in mind that it may take up to 3 weeks for the new location to appear.

  10. Will updates to my customer-facing information change my billing or contact information that is on file with American Express or my third-party payment processor?

    No. This process will only update your customer-facing information for use on the map, online directory, online ads and other personalized marketing materials. If you have moved or wish to make other changes to your merchant account information that American Express or your third-party payment processor uses to manage your account, please call the number on your monthly statement. Likewise, if you update your billing or other account information, these changes will not automatically be made on your map or directory listing. To make updates to your listing, you must go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and log in to review and update your customer-facing information.

  1. What personalized marketing materials are available? How does it work?

    In a few simple steps we’ll help you create free personalized printable signage, digital banners, social posts and more. These pieces will feature your business name, neighborhood (or town) and a few words that you’ll provide about what makes your business special. You can immediately download these materials to hang in your store, post on your website or send out via your social media channels. It’s a great way to let customers know they can Shop Small® with you throughout the year. You can also apply for a Shop Small listing to be featured on ShopSmall.com/buzz. From time to time, you can also apply for free online ads to be displayed on various websites.

  2. Why is American Express offering personalized marketing materials and online ads? Is there any cost to my business?

    In addition to the Shop Small Map and online directory, personalized marketing materials and free online ads are another way American Express is helping small businesses gain exposure to American Express ® Card Members and other consumers throughout the year. This benefit is provided to qualifying small merchants at no cost. Review eligibility criteria.

  3. How do I create my personalized marketing materials and apply for a Shop Small listing and free online ads?

    Your business must first be included on the Shop Small Map or online directory. To ensure that your business has been included and is listed correctly, go to the Merchant Shop Small Page and log in to review. Be sure the box next to “Include this listing on the map” is checked. After confirming, you will be brought to the marketing material creation process.

  4. What is a Shop Small Listing?

    Once you’ve included your business location on the map or directory, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a Shop Small listing. If approved, this listing will appear at a later date on the Neighborhood Buzz page at ShopSmall.com/Buzz.

  5. When can I apply for free online ads and when will they run?

    Free online ads will be offered periodically throughout the year. Eligibility restrictions apply. See the Terms of Participation for full details and current application/run dates.

  6. Who will see my free online ad?

    If your business has a storefront, your ad will be displayed to customers located in or near your business ZIP code. If your business is online only or does not have a storefront, your ad will be displayed to customers in your service area. American Express measures the number of people exposed to your online ad in the form of impressions. An impression is a single display of an ad on a webpage. We cannot guarantee a specific number of impressions. You will receive an email within three months after your ad cycle ends with high-level reporting.

  7. If a customer clicks on my ad, where will they go?

    Customers will be directed either to your business website or page on Facebook. You can select your preference during the application process.

  8. When will I know if my free online ad application is approved or declined?

    Each application will be reviewed to determine whether it meets the merchant eligibility requirements as outlined in the Terms of Participation. This process can take 3-4 weeks. Once the review is complete, you will receive an email letting you know whether your ad was approved or declined.

  9. My business has multiple locations. Can I apply for a free online ad for each location?

    Yes, you may apply to receive a free online ad for each of your business locations that is included on the Shop Small Map or online directory. As part of the application process, we’ll ask you to select the locations for which you would like to receive an ad.

  10. Are small businesses outside of the continental U.S. eligible to receive free online ads?

    Online ads are available to qualifying American Express Card accepting small businesses that have a business location or service area within the 50 United States, D.C., Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, please see the Terms of Participation

  11. I was approved for an ad. Is it possible to have the ad pulled?

    If you would like to pull your approved ad for any reason, please call 1-800-235-8916.

031.0