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"Anyone can make a difference" on Small Business Saturday

A newer part of one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year is Small Business Saturday
American Express CEO on Small Business Saturday, stopping data theft 05:09

Small Business Saturday is now becoming a part of the Black Friday weekend tradition.

American Express launched it as an initiative to help the nation's 23 million small businesses recover after the recession.

American Express CEO on small businesses’ power to create jobs 00:34

"I think what's really incredible is that Small Business Saturday and Shop Small has truly become a movement," American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault said Monday on "CBS This Morning." "We're into our fifth year and the reality is that small businesses are really the backbone of the American economy."

Chenault said small businesses are responsible for 50 percent of the jobs in the private workforce, creating two-thirds of the net new jobs over the last 20 years.

"What small businesses want is they want more customers, and that's what we're doing," Chenault said.

This year, 3,000 communities will represent 50 states including Washington, D.C. Chenault told CBS News that last year, shoppers who were aware of Small Business Saturday generated $5.7 billion.

Kenneth Chenault: Local communities want small businesses to win 00:42

"Anyone can make a difference," Chenault said. "This is frankly the one movement that I will tell you is not limited to American Express. You can use any credit card. You can use cash. You can use checks. All we want you to do is to support small businesses in your community."

Chenault said 82 percent of consumers told American Express that they would be shopping on Small Business Saturday, and among those people, 77 percent said the movement drives them to shop small all year.

As the holiday shopping season raises concerns about online security concerns and data theft, Chenault said American Express is "absolutely" worried about hackers.

"The reality is you have some of the most brilliant people who are fraudsters, and we have to be way ahead of them," Chenault said.

It's something his company is substantially investing in.

"There are literally thousands of attacks every day, and so it is absolutely critical that from a technology standpoint we continue to innovate because it is a major, major threat and privacy, security, trust is fundamental to commerce experience," Chenault said.

He also said his company has the largest integrated payment platform.

"We don't just issue cards. We acquire merchants," Chenault said. "We have all that information in data so our fraud rates are 50 percent less than the industry."

American Express CEO's advice for business owners 00:31

Part of Chenault's success has been how he leads his Fortune 500 company. Google chairman Eric Schmidt once said Chenault "exemplifies the best leadership that I've ever worked with."

"My favorite quote on leadership comes from Napoleon and I always preface it always saying, I don't want to wind up like him, but I really believe the role of the leader is to define reality and give hope," Chenault said. "We know how difficult it is in the world we operate in today to define reality. But it's not enough to define reality. You've got to come up with strategies and tactics to define hope and that's critical. I think about that every single day."

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