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Half of SME retailers are seeing customer numbers grow as shoppers seek out supplies and value for money

SME retailers contribute massively to UK economy

Small retailers are receiving much-needed support from their customer base, with a study by finding that more than half (52%) of small businesses believe customers are choosing to shop with them because of a range of cost and supply chain pressures.

The research, conducted by Opinium on behalf of American Express, finds that this support is also 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.

The research comes as American Express’ Shop Small campaign returns this month, incentivising Cardmembers to spend at participating small businesses across the UK.

Dan Edelman, Vice President and General Manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express says: “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 10thanniversary this year (3 December).

Michelle Ovens, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, adds: “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  and 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.

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