What is the Shop Small Polk & Give Back campaign about?

We did Shop Small Polk a little differently this year. This year, BRIDGE Local partnered with United Way of Central Florida to bring you Shop Small & Give Back. Of course, we’re celebrating our communities small businesses and encouraging consumers to shop local, but we’re introducing a new aspect to this campaign: giving back.

Our partnership with United Way of Central Florida allows us to celebrate small businesses and raise awareness around the importance of shopping local while also encouraging members of the small business community to give back to our amazing community by pledging donations to UWCF.

What is the Shop Small pledge?

Shoppers and Small Busineses are encouraged to take the Shop Small Pledge. The pledge is a promise to shop small and consider the impact shopping small has on our local economy. Specifically, when you sign the pledge you promise to change just ONE buying decision each month to support a local small business AND encourage friends and family to shop small, too.

There are two options when taking the pledge: The Shoppers Pledge and The Small Business Pledge.

Shoppers can take the pledge and be automatically entered to win daily giveaways from some of our favorite local spots, like Swan Brewing, Union Hall, Cob & Pen, Red Door Lakeland, Winners Circle, and more.

Small Businesses can take the pledge and make a donation to United Way. Depending on the level of their donation, small businesses will get awesome benefits like a Shop Small & Give Back window cling, and Shop Small & Give Back t-shirt, a business listing on the Shop Small website AND the Shop Small map, a social shout out, and more.

Where can I find the Shop Small Polk map?

The Shop Small Polk map can be found here.

The Shop Small Polk map is your guide to the small businesses that are participating in Shop Small Polk! Use this to guide yourself around the community and visit all of the wonderful merchants that have committed to Shopping Small on November 30 and every day when possible!

What are some of the prizes?

Local prizes from local businesses, cash and fun swag! Some of the merchants we know right now are: Cob & Pen, Swan Brewing, Union Hall, Red Door and Winners Circle. New prizes are being added daily.

When I pledge a donation, where does my donation go?

As part of our partnership with United Way of Central Florida, 100% of your pledged donation will go to United Way of Central Florida initiatives.

United Way of Central Florida, through seven initiatives, are disrupting the cycle of poverty in Central Florida. To read more about these initiative and where exactly your donation dollars go, click here.

I’m not currently in the position to make a large donation. What are my options?

If you’re passionate about Shopping Small & Giving Back, there are flexible donation options available to you that still allow you to enjoy all the benefits of participating in this campaign.

Weekly, monthly, or quarterly recurring payments are available to anyone that takes the pledge!

Simply fill out the pledge form, indicate the total amount you plan on giving, indicate how you want to break up your donation, and then complete the donation form and select “Pledge” in the “What type of donation is this?” form field. Then, indicate how often and in what amount you want you donation to be.

I‘m a BRIDGE Local Insider. What’s the best way for me to participate?

When a BRIDGE Local Insider pledges a donation, BRIDGE Local will match that donation by up to $150. 

What’s the best way to utilize this perk? Pledge a donation of at least $215, and BRIDGE Local will match it by $150. This donation match will “level you up” to the Small Business United Partner level, getting you better benefits and more exposure for your donation.

Alternatively, donate $850 and BRIDGE Local–with the $150 match–will level you up to the Leadership Giving Partner level. This level gets you all the perks of the lower levels and includes dedicated UWCF staff support, regular updates and recognition for your gift, society membership opportunities, and more.

What is Shop Small®?

Shop Small is about more than just shopping at small businesses. It’s a cause that helps to support local economies and promote vibrant, diverse communities. It’s also a nationwide movement fueled by shoppers, business owners, and organizers who come together and celebrate the community because they know it matters.

American Express launched Shop Small on November 27, 2010. The day became official and recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011. In 2012, elected officials in every state championed Small Business Saturday.

What is Small Business Saturday®?

It’s an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, you can get out and support the places you love with the people you love on Nov 30.

What impact does Shop Small have on my community?

Small businesses play a key role in helping communities thrive. By shopping or dining at your favorite local places throughout the year, you’re showing your support for small businesses and making a positive impact in your community.

In 2017, our community was introduced to Shop Small with the Shop Small Lakeland event. Featuring over 400 participants and 44 participating merchants, Shop Small Lakeland generated an estimated economic impact of $35,741 in just one day.

In 2018, we grew our reach to encompass all of Polk County. We had 50 merchants and over 200 shoppers participating to generate an estimated economic impact of $49,250.

What role does American Express play in Small Business Saturday?

In 2010, American Express founded the holiday. Today, American Express provides materials for supporters and businesses, in addition to offering ways for shoppers to stay engaged with the small businesses in the community.

If you’ve registered for Shop Small Saturday through American Express, that’s great! However, our Shop Small Polk initiative has some key benefits for merchants that are different.
By registering for Shop Small Saturday through AMEX, you’ll receive marketing materials like balloons and posters, but as far as promotion and belonging to a bigger network of local businesses participating…you’re on your own. With Shop Small Polk, participating merchants will enjoy localized exposure on behalf of BRIDGE Local and United Way of Central Florida and access to a wide network of shoppers who are pledging to Shop Small on November 30. With social media, email, and print promotion managed by BRIDGE Local and United Way of Central Florida, you’ll receive exposure without having to manage any of that yourself. Shop Small Polk merchants will have their businesses added to an easy-to-navigate Shop Small Polk Google map, listing on our website and eligible businesses will receive shoutouts through social media and email. Consumers participating can take part in fun giveaways. None of these campaign benefits are included with your registration with AMEX’s nationwide, “one-size-fits-all” effort. This is all part of the Shop Small Polk fun!

Contact Us