Shop Small campaign aims to accelerate small businesses’ recovery

American Express’ latest Shop Small campaign urges shoppers to do their Christmas shopping with small businesses this year to help accelerate their recovery. Research conducted Amex reveals that if each person purchased a $100 gift at a small business, it would deliver an additional $2 billion boost to the sector. Furthermore, with survey also showing that shoppers intend to potentially spend an average of $220 per gift for their loved ones, a potential $4.4 billion in total could be spent within the sector, significantly hastening its recovery.

Such support is seen as critical for 30 per cent of Australian small businesses, who say that without strong sales they won’t survive. Another 38 per cent say that weak sales will force their hand at having to make serious changes to their business.

“Having parents who owned a small business myself and seeing just how hard they worked to make it a success, I’m proud to be part of a campaign that encourages support for the sector at a critical time of year, as not many people have had it tougher than small business owners lately,” Gill Minervini, the newly appointed festival director of Sydney’s light festival Vivid and supporter of the Shop Small campaign, said.

“Each small-business owner told me it was largely down to the support of their local community that has kept them operating, so the hope is that these window displays will act as a small ‘thank you’ by bringing joy to those who see them as well as more shoppers to the local area,” Minervini added.

Lisa Belcher, Vice President of Small Merchants for American Express added, “For this year’s campaign, we were inspired by the spectacular window displays traditionally seen in larger retailers around the world. On a slightly smaller scale, we are delivering the same level of delight and magic to local communities but most importantly bringing customers, ready to spend, through the doors of small businesses.”

The research reveals that because of the pandemic, 23 per cent of Australians have shopped more with small businesses. Of these, 69 per cent say they want their money to contribute to small business’ recovery and 35 per cent said it makes them feel good to support small businesses and another 35 per cent said they enjoy the personal experience.

The Australian Retailers Association is lending its support to the Shop Small campaign. with its CEO Paul Zahra saying, “We estimate the daily impact on retail trade during the recent lockdowns was over $55 million per day in Victoria and over $40 million per day in NSW, so there was a lot of pain and devastation felt across our two largest cities.

“With businesses ramping up their operations for Christmas a time when many discretionary stores, like those in fashion, footwear and accessories make up two-thirds of their annual profit the outlook is positive. Australian consumers are forecast to spend around $58 billion in the pre-Christmas sales, which is in line with last year, and up 11.3 per cent on pre-pandemic conditions in 2019,” Zahra said. “The ARA is delighted to support American Express’ latest Shop Small campaign with the hope that small businesses receive their fair share of spend, as for many, the stakes are high this Christmas.”

To incentivise its Card Members to spend where it is needed most, American Express has a special Shop Small offer. American Express Card Members who first save this offer to their eligible Card, will get three extra points per dollar spent with participating small businesses until 31 March 2022, in-store or online, up to 40,000 extra points.