Black Friday gets all the hype, but we're big fans of  SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY.  That's the brilliant new shopping event happening this Saturday, where people are encouraged to spend money at local businesses.

It's the brainchild of American Express, and they're actually throwing some money behind it.  As in free money, FOR YOU.

You can get a $25 credit if you shop at a local business on Saturday.  There are a few hoops to jump through, but nothing too hard.

#1.)  You have to be an American Express cardholder.  (--Hopefully the small business you go to takes Amex . . . sadly, a lot of small businesses don't, because of their fees.)

#2.)  You need to sign up for a Foursquare account beforehand.  If you're not familiar, Foursquare is yet another social network.  It's all about "checking in" at different locations.  You can sign up for free at

#3.)  Sync your Foursquare account to your Amex account at

#4.)  Before you make your purchase on Saturday, use Foursquare to "check in" at the store.  Then use your Amex card to buy whatever you're buying.

And a $25 credit will appear on your American Express statement.  Yes, it's a few hoops to jump through, but you're supporting a good initiative AND it's free money, so isn't it worth the five minutes it'll take?