Almost half of Singapore businesses reported improved sales in September and October 2020 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the first American Express Business Recovery Research for Singapore. However, survivability concerns remain, with more than half the 300 local business decisionmakers surveyed saying their business cannot stay open for more than six months if sales do not recover to pre-COVID levels by end December 2020.

One in two cite that having regular customers encourage their friends and family to shop at their establishment, as well as having new customers is be crucial to the recovery of their businesses. In addition, 90% of those surveyed said their business sustainability is likely to be severely to moderately impacted if tourists do not return by mid-2021. As such, many of them need support from local shoppers to survive in the medium to long term in the absence of tourist spending.

To give local businesses a boost, American Express is bringing its global Shop Smallmovement to Singapore to encourage shoppers to show their love for local businesses. American Express will fund its largest cashback offer to encourage its Card Members to spend at about 2,000 businesses in Singapore. Starting 1 December 2020, Card Members will enjoy S$5 in cashback when they spend at least S$10 at participating businesses, up to three times.

Ho Yat-Wai, Country Manager, American Express Singapore, said: “Our local businesses have shown tremendous resilience and agility during this challenging time, but our research shows many aren’t confident of their long-term survival. “We need to do our part to shop small and shop local to help them get through this period and eventually thrive again. Shop Small is American Express’ way of showing up for our community by raising the profile our local businesses and connecting them with our Card Members. I hope everyone joins us to support our local businesses.”

Singapore businesses stay resilient amid pandemic 

The American Express Business Recovery Research for Singapore shows that over half the businesses surveyed shifted to e-commerce (59%) and set up delivery and/or pick-up options (54%) to remain open during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the changes made to their business models are expected to continue beyond the pandemic; the top three are communicating to customers via social media (83%), providing digital and/or delivery options (81%) and accepting more payment types (80%).

Supporting local

Started in 2010 in the US, American Express’ Shop Small is a national movement to celebrate the contributions local businesses make to their communities and the economy, and to encourage shoppers to support them. In Singapore, Shop Small complements the SingapoRediscovers campaign launched by Singapore Tourism Board, Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation in July 2020. SingapoRediscovers encourages locals to support home-grown tourism and lifestyle businesses, through the rediscovery of hidden gems and experiences as well as attractive promotions.

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