Amex campaign to support Australian small businesses receives “overwhelming response”

Elizabeth Barry 8 November 2017 NEWS

small business

American Express was forced to close registrations one week into the month-long campaign.

The American Express Shop Small campaign, which offered cashback to American Express cardholders that registered and shopped with a participating small business, has been forced to close registrations early due to an overwhelming response to the campaign.

Shop Small kicked off on 1 November and let American Express cardholders that registered a card receive a $10 credit when they spent $20 or more with a participating business between 1 November and 30 November.

Cardholders that successfully registered for the campaign, which was capped at 118,000 cards, can still participate in the promotion and are able to 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. Research from American Express found that Australians are choosing larger companies over smaller, independent businesses. Under one-third (29%) of consumers said they increased their shopping frequency with small businesses in the past year, down from 37% in 2016.

Small businesses have long struggled with cash flow, and despite them being the backbone of the Australian economy, even regular events such as the Melbourne Cup can have a huge effect on their profitability.

While cash flow issues are pervasive in small businesses, research also revealed a trend that highlights the importance of small businesses, which American Express has coined the "Boomerang Dollar". 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.”

The success of the campaign is a good sign for Australian small businesses, especially those registered with the American Express campaign. Find out more about registering as a merchant with the Shop Small campaign here.

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