Small businesses are largely shutout from the consumer-generated madness surrounding the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.

So this year the folks at American Express decided to create an alternate celebration for Main Street USA: Small Business Saturday.

Sandwiched in between those hyperbolic retail extravaganzas, the small business fete (this year held on November 27) is a chance to patronize local independently-owned businesses. For its part,  Amex is rewarding the first 10,000 small businesses that sign up on the event’s Facebook page $100 worth of free advertising on the social networking site. In addition the first 100,000 Amex card holders who sign up and make a credit card purchase at a local small business will receive a $25 credit applied to their statement.

The site’s Facebook page has more than a million fans.

“It’s a nice way for small businesses to be recognized,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of Web company MyCorporation that helps entrepreneurs incorporate their businesses. She added that normally small shop owners tend to be closed on Thanksgiving weekend, but many of her clients have said they will open their doors this year.

“We think it’s a good opportunity for small businesses to begin to take advantage of the albeit slowly growing economy,” said Sweeney. “I actually think it’s energizing the small business market.”