Amazon Prime Day: Several Early Deals Now Available Ahead of Annual Sale Event

Amazon has confirmed that its annual Amazon Prime Day will take place from Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Wednesday, Oct. 14, but existing Prime members can get some of the deals starting now. Amazon's yearly sales extravaganza was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the company is still hoping to cash in before the year is out. This year, it is putting particular emphasis on its "biggest small business promotion."

Starting on Monday, Sept. 28, Amazon Prime members can get a $10 credit to be used on Prime Day just by spending $10 on items sold by select small businesses. The retail giant increasingly hosts small businesses on its platform, and is trying to help them out this Prime Day amid the ongoing economic recession. Vice president of Amazon Prime, Jamil Ghani, told USA Today: "We're really trying to put the spotlight and the energy of Prime Day behind these small businesses."

Ghani went on to explain that the $10 credit is "fully funded" by Amazon, and costs small businesses nothing. It is part of a larger $100 million commitment Amazon has made to support small businesses throughout the remainder of 2020. This is a smart PR move, as some analysts see it, since Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos has increased his personal wealth dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon Prime Day started in the summer of 2015, as a way to entice customers during the traditionally slow season for the retail industry. It provides Black Friday-like deals for Amazon Prime members only, driving up new subscriptions and unloading massive amounts of inventory from the company's warehouses.

Amazon Prime Day typically comes in July and has grown in scope every year since it started. In 2019, Prime Day sales reportedly outstripped Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from 2018 combined. The online retailer unloaded 175 million items during the short event.

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Small business owners are grateful for the opportunities provided by Amazon's new focus on them, particularly at a time when in-person business is so uncertain. A business owner from Springfield, Missouri told USA Today: "selling online has helped us stay connected with customers and continue growing our small business despite the challenging times."

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13 and Wednesday, Oct. 14, with some early deals available now. To support small business through Amazon, visit the new "biggest small business" landing page.