American Express Commits $200 Million to Latest Shop Small Campaign
For some time now, American Express has made its support of small businesses clear. While the credit card company’s best-known link to the small business world is their invention of Small Business Saturday — which is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each November — their Shop Small efforts are year-round. Now, at a time when many businesses are working to recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and bring customers back to their stores, Amex is launching their largest Shop Small campaign ever.
American Express has announced that it is committing $200 million to its latest campaign. This will include several months of marketing efforts aimed at jump starting spending at small businesses across the country and around the globe. Additionally, the company is pledging $10 million over the next four years to provide grants to Black-owned small businesses in the United States. That initiative comes via a colation Amex is forging with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as well as the U.S. Black Chambers, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, and Walker’s Legacy.
Another aspect of Amex’s plan includes incentivizing customers to Shop Small. Starting today, eligible American Express cardholders can add a special Shop Small Amex Offer to their card, earning a $5 statement credit when they spend $10 or more at select small businesses. This offer can be used up to 10 times per cardholder (for a total credit amount of $50) through September 20th, 2020. Currently this offer is available to cardholders in the United States until July 26th, 2020 but a similar promotion is also launching in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Spain seeing rollouts soon. Cardholders can also explore eligible local and online merchants using Amex’s Shop Small map.
Commenting on this latest Shop Small campaign, American Express chairman and CEO Stephen J. Squeri said in a statement, “American Express has backed small business owners through challenging times for decades, and we are standing for them today as many struggle to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” He added, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and now is the time to join together and help them rebound from this global crisis, because their success is critical to job creation, strong economies and thriving neighborhoods.”
Obviously this promotion comes at a critical time for many small businesses. In fact, according to research by Amex, 62% of business owners in the U.S. say they won’t be able to stay in business if consumer spending doesn’t bounce back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. While a $5 credit for cardholders is unlikely fix the situation altogether, is does serve as a great incentive for consumers and is a critical reminder that their local businesses need their help. Hopefully this Shop Small promotion — and even this year’s Small Business Saturday — will benefit those entrepreneurs in need and allow them to overcome the uphill climb they currently face.