We’ll call this one “smallwashing.” Just as large companies with not-so-hot environmental records try to improve their images by “greenwashing” – that is, adopting feel-good, eco-friendly practices – American Express is trying to build some indie cred by sponsoring a day of shopping meant to give small businesses a shot in the arm (and the credit card company a better reputation among the buy-local crowd). Amex promises a one-time $25 credit for anyone who registers and is eligible (don’t forget to read the fine print) for an American Express card and uses it to buy at least $25 worth of stuff with it at an eligible (again, fine print) small business. Sounds a little gimmicky, we know, but we checked the list and found a bunch of legit local businesses participating in this venture – Ace Rubber Stamp & Sign, Axiom Tattoo and Body Piercing, Coliseum of Comics – and if you’re going to spend your money someplace, you might as well spend it at a local business and let Amex help you pick up the tab. It’s a win-win, as long as you remember to pay that damn bill off in time. Hey, 99 percenters, don’t say the 1 percent never gave you anything. Let the consumerism begin! – Erin Sullivan (all day; various locations; visit facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday)
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