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Small businesses show their community spirit with support and solidarity in challenging times, American Express research finds

November 23, 2022

As American Express celebrates 10 years of its flagship Shop Small campaign, new research shows the incredible camaraderie and resilience that exists among small business owners in the face of ongoing challenges.

A survey of retail and hospitality sector business owners1 on behalf of American Express and Small Business Saturday, found that the vast majority (90%) agreed it was important to support other local, independent businesses, with 85% saying they actively promote other suppliers and small businesses local to them. A similar number (83%) said they always tried to work with these suppliers where possible.

Recognising the vital contribution their businesses make locally and the need to support fellow entrepreneurs, three quarters of respondents (74%) agreed there was a strong sense of community among small businesses in their local area.

While over half (56%) of these small business owners said the next outlook for their business over the next six months would be “challenging”, over a third (36%) said they were “optimistic” and one quarter (27%) “excited”.

Celebrating 10 years of shopping small

2022 marks 10 years since the American Express Shop Small campaign launched in the UK (in 2012) and the tenth year of Small Business Saturday on 3 December. American Express continues to be the principal supporter of Small Business Saturday, encouraging Brits to back the nation’s small businesses that have such a positive impact on our local communities.

At its heart, the UK is a nation of entrepreneurs with the number of small businesses having grown significantly over the past decade.2 The research reinforces some of the biggest rewards of running your own business. Three fifths (59%) of respondents said the top benefit was “being their own boss”; 45% cited “job satisfaction”; and a quarter (26%) pointed at “having a positive impact on the local community”.

Dan Edelman, General Manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: “Our research offers further proof of how community-focused and generous of spirit small business owners are. They are facing hugely challenging times but appreciate and support the valuable contribution their fellow entrepreneurs make. We’re proud to continue championing them with the return of our Shop Small campaign and Offer, available at more locations than ever before this winter, as well as through our long-standing support of Small Business Saturday on 3 December.”

Michelle Ovens, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, added: “While small businesses are undoubtedly facing a host of challenges currently, this research underlines that being an entrepreneur is also still a hugely fulfilling thing to do and the UK is still a great place to start your own business. The strength of collaboration bubbling away across the small business community is a big reason for this. But as well as support from each other, business owners need support from everyone around them, including the public.”

Shop Small campaign 

Shop Small seeks to mobilise American Express’ loyal Cardmembers, encouraging them to spend instore with small retailers this festive season, generating additional sales, new customers and boosting brand loyalty for merchants. From 3 - 12 December 2022, American Express Cardmembers will receive a £5 statement credit when they spend £15 or more at participating small businesses across the UK. The offer can be used up to 5 times, once per participating small business location, meaning that Cardmembers can reward themselves with up to £25 back in statement credits, making their spending go further this December.

The Shop Small Offer is fully funded by American Express at no cost to merchants. The total number of participating locations this campaign has risen by 34% compared to the campaign in December 2021, the biggest number ever.

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


Notes to Editors

1 Opinium surveyed 250 Senior Decision Makers at businesses of <50 employees, in retail or hospitality, who have a physical, customer-facing location. Fieldwork conducted in November 2022.

2 Office of National Statistics figures show the number of small businesses increased by 14% from 2012 to the start of 2022 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/business-population-estimates

Terms & Conditions:

These Offer Terms set out the key terms of our Shop Small Offer. Please make sure you read these together with our General Offer Terms which contain important qualifying conditions that you should read. If any term set out below is inconsistent with the General Offer Terms, the term below will apply.

• This Offer is available from 3/12/2022 until 23:59 UK time on 12/12/2022.

• This Offer is only intended for UK Cardmembers who are the targeted recipients of this Offer.

• To participate in this Offer, you must save this Offer to your qualifying American Express Card and make a qualifying purchase in-store from a participating UK small business before the Offer End Date.

• In addition to the types of Cards excluded under the general Offer Terms, purchases using Pre-Paid Cards will not qualify for this Offer.

• This Offer only applies to purchases in GBP on the Card to which the Offer is saved. This includes purchases using a Card loaded into a mobile payment wallet.

• This Offer is only valid for purchases made on-site at UK small businesses that are participating in our Shop Small Offer. Purchases made online from a small business’ website will not qualify for this Offer.

• To search for participating UK Shop Small locations please visit the Shop Small Map. Eligible locations will be highlighted with a Shop Small badge. Small businesses listed on the Shop Small Map may change. Business location, operating hours and other information provided on the Shop Small Map may vary or contain errors. Please contact businesses directly to check they are open and accept American Express. We reserve the right to change or cancel this Offer at any time.

• Post office spend is excluded.

• To qualify, a single purchase must be for at least £15. Buy now pay later purchases are excluded from this Offer. Please see the general Offer Terms for more information about excluded transactions.

• If you make a qualifying purchase, a £5 statement credit will be applied to your Card. You can receive up to 5 statement credits per Card, but only one statement credit per participating small business location. Multiple purchases made in a single purchase transaction will only qualify as one purchase for the purposes of this Offer. When we calculate how many qualifying purchases have occurred, we will not include purchases made by any additional Cardholder(s). Purchases made by an additional Cardholder will qualify for this Offer separately where the additional Cardholder saves this Offer to their Card and makes a qualifying purchase from a participating small business before the Offer End Date.

• Qualifying purchases must be billed to your Card Account by the Offer End Date. If the small business does not charge your Card before the Offer End Date, your purchase will not qualify for this Offer.

• The statement credit should appear on your Card Account statement within 30 days from the date you made a qualifying purchase but may take up to 90 days from the Offer End Date. Please refer to the general Offer Terms for information about when statement credits can be lost.

• A statement credit may be reversed if a qualifying purchase is refunded or cancelled. Any misuse, as reasonably determined by us, relating to your redemption of American Express Offers or any previous American Express Offers and promotions may result in a statement credit being reversed, and ineligibility from future American Express Offers and other promotions. This reversal may take place up to a maximum of 180 days after the Offer End Date.

• We will use your personal information such as name, email address, Account number and transaction information to manage your participation in the Offer and to track your spend. You also acknowledge that American Express will send you communications to administer the Offer you have opted to be part of (such as to confirm enrolment and redemption of this Offer). We will only ever use your personal information strictly in accordance with the Cardmember Privacy Statement.

• By saving the Offer to your Card, you agree to all our Offer terms


Media Contacts
Mike Berry
+44 (0)1273 212 010

Firstlight PR (on behalf of American Express): amex@firstlightgroup.io


To find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign, please visit: americanexpress.co.uk/shopsmall


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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