AOL Exclusive: Jeremy Piven teams up with American Express to help support small businesses

There's something to be said about shopping locally, especially during the holiday season.

Though big department stores and retail chains might have a wider selection, it can feel impersonal when you're shopping for someone you care about.

SEE ALSO: 21 perfect holiday gifts online for under $100

Shopping locally is important, and American Express knows it – that's why they're launching a new program called Shop Small® for 2X Rewards.

Cardholders with eligible cards will be able to earn double the amount of reward points for shopping at qualifying small businesses during the holiday season.

To kick off the campaign, American Express teamed up none other than Shaquille O'Neal shopping around the country with different celebrities in hopes of finding the perfect holiday gifts.

The ads are hysterical, and one of our favorites is Shaq's shopping day with Jeremy Piven.

Check it out below:

We were lucky enough to chat with Jeremy about the importance of shopping small, which celebrity is the most difficult to find a gift for, and, naturally, puppies.

AOL: What was it like working with Shaq?

Jeremy Piven: "He's just like a gentle giant...everyone loves him, and it's for good reason. Humble, sweet, guy who happens to be a giant. He's actually really sharp and fun to work with."

AOL: What can you tell us about the Shop Small® for 2X Rewards offer?

JP: "[American Express is] encouraging ...people to go out and shop at small businesses, which I think is a really much-needed campaign because it's not easy for some of these small businesses, and we need them. They provide a great service.

We shot in Chicago, and I'm from Chicago, and I would always go to small businesses and support them because that's what we had locally, and people were very loyal to them. And it's kind of cool because you get specialty items that you're not gonna get from certain larger chains necessarily. So they take a lot of care, and they need help, because they're not a big corporation."

Check out these behind the scenes photos of Jeremy and Shaq in search of the perfect Chicago present:

AOL: When it comes to buying presents for others for the holidays, do you tend to shop locally?

JP: "Yes...I have from the time I was growing up in Chicago, I've always done that. You get better service in a way, because they're very grateful that you're coming in. They have a connection to their store and you're gonna get items you don't get anywhere else. I think it's a really great and unique experience. So I have [shopped at small businesses] and I will continue to."

AOL: Who's the person on your list that you're struggling the most with buying a gift for this year?

JP: "I would say Jamie Foxx. I just finished a movie called 'All-Star Weekend with him...what do you give the guy who has everything? He just gave me an incredible wrapped gift and it's gonna be hard to beat that one. So, to get him a gift for Christmas is going to be incredibly challenging. He's also one of those guys who excels in so many different arenas...I think they ran out of those little icons for him at the Walk of Fame! He's also really giving, so he's a hard one to get a gift for."

AOL: Any big Holiday plans?

JP:"I haven't gotten to it, to be honest with you. My mom has just kind of made the big move from Chicago to LA so she's here with us now. And I just got a puppy and he's kind of running my life right now, and he knows it! So wherever I go, it has to be puppy-friendly that's for sure."

And, we had to ask --

AOL: What's your puppy's name?

JP: "His name at the moment is Kombucha."


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