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While the economy was devastated due to the spread of COVID19, it was small businesses that were hurt the most. According to new data from the Small Business Recovery Research conducted by American Express, 62% of businesses need to see consumer spending return by the end of 2020 to stay in business, and 65% say it would be most helpful to their business to have regular customers. That's why, as the country starts to reopen, American Express is launching a new initiative to help those who need it the most.
Today, the company announced its largest-ever global Shop Small campaign to spur worldwide spending at small businesses. How? By rewarding U.S. customers with $5 for every $10 spent at a small business, up to 10 times. This is part of American Express’s commitment of more than $200 million across six international markets over the next three months to help jumpstart spending at small businesses.
The initiative bodes well with other data that shows people are seeking creative ways to pack their bags and "safecation" this summer. According to a survey by American Express, nearly two-thirds of consumers (62%) feel most comfortable with taking a road trip in the next three months. So, Card Members can support small businesses throughout the U.S. as they safely travel with their families.
“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,” said Stephen J. Squeri, Chairman and CEO of American Express. “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."
This initiative represents the latest demonstration of American Express ongoing commitment to small business since it launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a result of the economic downturn. It also marks yet another effort by the credit card company to make a difference, specifically during the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, they let cardholders use their points towards a donation to Feeding America. They also partnered with Hilton to offer free hotel rooms for frontline workers and provided new benefits for card members to help with COVID-19 specific needs.