Amex’s small business campaign gets overwhelming support

American Express’ (Amex) ‘Shop Small’ campaign was forced to close registrations earlier than the announced deadline because of the overwhelming response to the campaign.

The campaign, which kicked off on November 1, lets American Express cardholders that registered their card, receive a $10 credit when they spent $20 or more with a participating small business between November 1 to 30.

Cardholders that successfully registered for the campaign, which was capped at 118,000 cards, can still participate in the campaign and receive up to five credits per registered card.

While the news isn’t great for American Express cardholders who didn’t get a chance to register, the support is great news for the small businesses that the campaign is aimed at. Apart from the longstanding cashflow issues, recent research has showed that Australians are going with larger companies over smaller, independent businesses for their needs as only 29% of consumers saying they increased their shopping frequency with small businesses in the past year. This was a decline from the 37% that was recorded in 2016.

Despite these issues, the research also revealed a trend that highlights the importance of small businesses, which American Express has coined the “Boomerang Dollar”. This means that a quarter of every dollar spent in Australia goes to small businesses and 42% of every dollar spent at small businesses is reinvested back into that local community.

“Independent businesses have long been recognised as a source of employment and neighbourhood character, but the multiplier effect of choosing to spend money at small businesses is less well known,” said Katrina Konstas, American Express vice president for small merchants. “The ‘Boomerang Dollar’’ effect shows that almost $38 billion is reinvested into our communities every year through local spending – that’s a huge amount that’s going back into business’ tills, workers’ pockets and towards worthy community causes. Shopping small can have an enormous effect.”

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