American Express has a long-standing commitment to small businesses (SME), with an array of cards that compete head-on with Bank of America, Chase, and Citi. The American Express small business volumes almost equal the sum of all branded network small business cards when measured by transactions (See this recent Mercator Research Report).
With more than $600 billion in small business spend, and a tremendous opportunity to grow, there are plenty of reasons to focus on the market.
American Express’s new coalition, intended to focus on providing value-added services for the small business market, is clever and well designed. It is also perfectly timed.
And, at a time where small businesses contend with backlogs in SBA loans, it is a refreshing strategy to help position SMEs for rebuilding after the current crisis.
AMEX announced the offering on their website. Coalition partners are global brands that offer a wide array of services.
The coalition includes some of world’s leading brands including Adobe, Amazon, American Express, AT&T Business, Avis, Bain & Company, BigCommerce, Bill.com, BJ’s Wholesale Club, BlueSnap, Budget, Dell Technologies, Deluxe, Dentsu Aegis Network, DocuSign, eBay Inc., Facebook, FedEx, GoDaddy, Google, Grainger, Hertz, IBM, iHeartMedia, Justworks, LinkedIn, Melio, Menlo Security, Microsoft, Next Insurance, Paychex, Inc., Pilot, Salesforce, Sam’s Club, SAP, Signifyd, Staples, SurePayroll, Trulioo, Uber, UPS, Verizon Communications Inc., and Zoro.
Stephen Squeri, Chairman and CEO of American Express, announced:
“The companies joining Stand for Small all have legacies of supporting the more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and collectively, our goal is to provide them with valuable resources so that we can come out stronger together once this crisis ends.”
Verizon, a participating member, linked their involvement as a component of helping small businesses through the crisis.
Today, Verizon announced its participation in the American Express ‘Stand for Small’ program, which is a coalition of more than 40 companies across media, technology, consumer goods and professional services, and many other industries, that have come together to provide meaningful support to small businesses as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19.
This is an excellent effort and gets you thinking about what will be like after the COVID-19 crisis. Financial help from the SBA surely helps, but there is more to the solution than throwing billions of dollars against it. People’s habits will change, and business practices will adapt.
This is not American Express’s first effort in the field, for sure. Small Business Saturday, which typically falls around Black Friday and is scheduled for November 28, 2020, is in its tenth year and has become a shopping holiday. Last year’s sales generated a record $19.6 billion in sales, with a focus on merchants on Main Street, rather than national brands. The theme is “Shop Local.” And, here is a collection of educational resources compiled by American Express for Small Business Owners navigating COVID-19.
Getting through COVID-19 is one thing. Thinking about how SME’s will reposition afterward is another, just as important.
Overview provided by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.