The Shop Small movement has made an early return this year as American Express celebrates the valuable contributions small businesses make to their communities and the economy, and to encourage shoppers to support them.

The Shop Small card member offer gives eligible American Express card members up to $50 credit back on their American Express card.  Once the offer is saved to their card, when they spend $10 or more, in one transaction, online or in-store at participating small businesses by 31 August 2020 they will receive a $5 credit. The offer is valid up to 10 times, once per participating business.

This year, American Express has also introduced a range of initiatives designed to help small businesses recover including:

  • A Small Business Support Hub offering support from well-known brands such eBay, Newscorp and Redballoon, including offers for small businesses
  • American Express Idea Exchange virtual masterclasses led by some of Australia’s most accomplished experts and entrepreneurs; giving small business owners the knowhow to drive their businesses forward
  • An “Open for Business” map helping shoppers identify which businesses are trading
  • A multimillion-dollar advertising and social media campaign to encourage consumers to Shop Small and provide exposure for a selection of amazing businesses from across the country featured in the campaign
  • Complimentary Shop Small ‘Back to Business’ merchandise, available for eligible American Express accepting businesses. This includes hand sanitiser stations, decals to encourage contactless payments, alcohol wipes, social distancing floor markers and Shop Small signage.

American Express Australia managing director, Corrina Davison said, “While people are starting to head out again, small businesses still face the challenge of getting customers to return at the levels they need. We’re bringing back Shop Small early this year to encourage shoppers to support the nation’s resilient small business operators and accelerate their recovery.

“In our eighth year of Shop Small, American Express will fund the largest cashback offer in the history of the movement in Australia to do what we can to help small businesses recover after what has been, for many, the most challenging year they have ever faced.

“Through the Shop Small campaign, American Express has given $19.5 million back to card members for spending at local small businesses across Australia between 2013 and 2019, and over the same period our card members have contributed more than $4 billion to the Australian small business sector as a result of Shop Small,” Davison added.

Most businesses optimistic but fear slow recovery

Majority of Australian small business owners (80%) are optimistic their business will survive the COVID-19 pandemic; however, if trade doesn’t pick up quickly enough, about half (52%) fear for their long-term survival, according to this year’s Small Business Recovery research commissioned by American Express.

Part of getting Australians out and shopping again will entail a greater level of comfort about precautions businesses are taking to protect the health of their customers. More than half (52%) of shoppers said they were concerned for their safety, and 80% said businesses need to implement safety measures such as sanitisers and distance markers for them to feel safe.

Only a third (33%) of shoppers said they felt at ease to return to bricks-and-mortar stores, and 22% will only do so once COVID-19 cases get down to zero in their state. Another 15% said only when no cases exist nation-wide.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said there’s no doubt there has never been a tougher time to be in business.

“While it’s encouraging to see so many small businesses confident they can survive this crisis, they will face enormous challenges over the coming months as they work to get back on their feet. What small businesses need right now is our support. The best way to do that is by visiting your local small businesses or shopping online for local products and services. Every dollar spent not only goes to that small business, but to the community as well.”