Retail

American Express Unveils $200M Cash-Back Program To Boost Spending At SMBs

With the reopening of the U.S. economy underway, American Express is rolling out a $200 million program designed to boost spending at small businesses.

The core of the program offers “eligible and enrolled” U.S. cardholders the opportunity to get $5 back after they spend $10 or more, up to 10 times, “when they Shop Small online or in-store” through Sept. 20. The deal applies to small businesses “eligible” under the American Express program. Cardholders need to enroll by July 26 by visiting the company's Shop Small website.

In announcing the program on Monday (June 29), the company said it has launched similar Shop Small offers in Australia, Canada and the U.K.

The company added that its efforts to aid small businesses would include an additional $10 million to fund a grant program to help U.S. Black-owned small businesses recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.

American Express conducted a “Small Business Recovery Research” report that found about 62 percent of U.S. small businesses said customer spending needs to return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in order for them to stay in business.

“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."

With brick-and-mortar retailers reopening all over America, the big question is how businesses can re-engage the customers that had been their lifeblood. Meanwhile, the look and feel of shops has changed to include new safety rules, signs and social-distancing measures.

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