New initiatives to help small businesses get back on their feet

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Before social distancing became our new normal, our favorite shops, local restaurants and gathering spots were the places where we celebrated occasions, met up with friends and fed our families. Today, these small businesses need our support to pay their rent, pay their workers and stay in business.

The global pandemic has shown the urgent need for collective action to support small businesses, across the globe. Backed by some revealing research, American Express understands the need to support small businesses and recognizes that now is the time for initiatives that support small business owners AND Card Members.

In partnership with Morning Consult, American Express recently conducted some research on the state of small businesses. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • 62% of small businesses need to see consumer spending return by the end of 2020 to survive
  • 56% of businesses agree they are invigorated by how their community is rallying to support local small businesses
  • 95% of consumers say small businesses bring value to their community beyond the goods and services they provide
  • 85% say small businesses make their neighborhood feel like home and 75% are looking for ways to shop small and support their community
  • 62% of those surveyed said they will prioritize shopping small when businesses in their area reopen
  • 58% of Millennials say they’re looking forward to small business reopening so they can spend time away from those they are quarantining with
  • The first people consumers plan to see as Stay-at-Home orders lift are their hair stylist and their bartender—61% say restaurants and bars will be their first stop while 53% are heading to the salon

With a long history of backing small businesses, American Express will announce its largest-ever global Shop Small Campaign on June 29. This campaign includes a commitment of up to $200 million over the next three months to help jumpstart spending at small merchants. The $200M financial commitment goes towards funding our largest, global Shop Small Card Member offer campaign, which will give Card Members $5 for every $10 spent at a small business, up to 10 times. This is intended to drive American Express Card Members around the globe to Shop Small in their neighborhoods and online. We deployed a Card Member statement credit offer when we first introduced Small Business Saturday following the Great Recession and drove significant business for local communities.

Additionally, Amex has confirmed they are announcing, in continuation of their longstanding support for women and minority-owned businesses, American Express is building a coalition and pledging $10M over the next 4 years to fund a program that will provide grants to organizations specifically focused on helping Black-owned businesses with their recovery and addressing the challenges they face due to racial and social inequalities.

Walter Frye, Vice President for Global Brand Engagement at American Express joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to discuss initiatives to help small business.

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