Shoppers rally around small businesses amid tough times, American Express research reveals

Small businesses are receiving much-needed support from their customer base according to new research from American Express, released to coincide with its summer Shop Small campaign that helps support the nation’s local and independent businesses.

The research, conducted by Opinium on behalf of American Express, found that over half (52%) of small businesses believe customers are choosing to shop with small businesses to support them during the current challenging trading environment, brought about by a range of cost and supply chain pressures.

This support is reflected in the number of new customers shopping with small independents; more than half (55%) of small businesses report seeing a rise in new customers purchasing from their business over the last six months. 

When it comes to the future, two-thirds (66%) of small business respondents say they are expecting sales to grow over the next year, with over a third (35%) stating they are optimistic about prospects for their business.

Dan Edelman, vice president and general manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: “After the many challenges of the last few years, it’s heartening see that customer support for the nation’s valuable small businesses remains strong. We’re proud to champion these businesses, which is why we’re encouraging our Cardmembers to show their appreciation by shopping locally with the return of Shop Small this month, available at more locations than ever before.”

First launched 10 years ago, Shop Small helps independent businesses attract customers through their doors and is just one of the ways American Express champions small businesses all year round. The company is founder and Principal Supporter of Small Business Saturday, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year (3 December).

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, added: “Such optimism shown towards small businesses is fantastic to see, especially as we navigate through a challenging time when they need our support more than ever. Choosing to back campaigns such as Shop Small and Small Business Saturday is an excellent way to get behind our nation’s independents and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Between 20- 26 June, American Express Cardmembers will receive a £5 statement credit when they spend £15 or more at participating small businesses across the UK. This Offer, funded by American Express, can be used up to 5 times, once per participating small business location, meaning that Cardmembers can earn up to £25 back in statement credits. The total number of participating locations this summer has risen by almost a fifth (19%) compared to the previous campaign in December 2021.

Terms, locations and payment restrictions apply. For full terms and conditions please visit the Shop Small Hub. Offer excludes Corporate and Pre-Paid Cards.