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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Nov. 20

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. More consumers plan to shop "small" on Small Business Saturday. Consumers will be out in force this Saturday for American Express' (AXP) Small Business Saturday .

The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, conducted by American Express OPEN and the National Federation of Independent Business, polled 1,000 consumers between Nov. 7-12 of their shopping plans.

Two-thirds of those surveyed plan to buy from local businesses on Nov. 24, the day designated for Small Business Saturday. (Forty-four percent said they shopped at a small business for last year's event.)

>>>Small Business Saturday Set to Catapult Local Shops

The survey found that a majority plan to spend more money than they did last year, averaging about $100 each on Small Business Saturday.

In response, thousands of small businesses around the country are planning special offers, partnering with neighboring businesses and hosting events to support the small-business shopping day.

The survey also found: •
The top five places that consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are restaurants (52%), bakeries (35%), clothing stores (34%), gift shops (31%) and book shops (29%). •
The No. 1 reason that consumers plan to support small businesses is because they value their contributions to the community (76%). The No. 2 reason was better customer service (59%). •
Half of those planning to shop on Small Business Saturday will bring a friend. •
Two-thirds plan to eat out at small, independently owned restaurants. •
Word-of-mouth is the top way that consumers find small, independently owned shops and restaurants in their communities (79%).

Small-business owners can go to a section on the NFIB's website to submit information about their business and why shoppers should visit on Nov. 24, which will be promoted by the NFIB on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

Now in its third year, the movement is gaining steam. More than 200 advocacy groups, 60 public officials and 70 corporate partners have signed on to endorse the campaign, according to the Shop Small website.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, will organize Small Business Saturday events through their local member chambers. To date, nearly 50 member chambers have rallied businesses in their communities and will host local activities leading up to and on Nov. 24, where attendees will have the opportunity to pick up tote bags, and to get American Express Shop Small gift cards as part of a community-activation program.

2. Small Business Administration looking for tech innovators to provide a "non-electric heating solution" in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The SBA has an urgent call for innovation. According to an email notice sent by the SBA on Tuesday, the agency has asked Defense Alliance, a company that has been awarded an SBA grant, to help small businesses get government contracting jobs through the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and others "to put out a call to our membership for an urgent technology need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy."