According to recent research by American Express’ Business Recovery Research for Singapore, it can be seen that almost half of Singapore’s businesses have reported improved sales in the months of September and October 2020, compared to sales in 2019. However, many businesses still holds concerns with regards to keeping the doors open, should sales do not recover to pre-Covid-19 levels by year end.

The report stated that up to half of the businesses surveyed believed that word of mouth between close friends and family would be absolutely crucial to the recovery of the economy. In addition, the vast majority of businesses also believe that their business sustainability would most likely be severely affected if the tourist industry does not pick-up by mid-2021. Many businesses will have to survive on the patronage of local shoppers in the absence of tourist spending.

Research also shows that over half of Singapore’s businesses have made a huge shift towards e-commerce and have set up delivery or pick-up options in order to remain open during the pandemic period.

“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,” said Ho Yat-Wai, Country Manager, American Express Singapore.

Many of the changes made to local business models are expected to continue beyond the pandemic; the top three are communicating to customers via social media, providing digital and/or delivery options, and accepting more payment types.

In order to assist local businesses and encourage local shoppers, American Express is also brining its global Shop Small movement to Singapore. The global financial giant will fund a cashback offer to push Card Members to spend at about 2,000 businesses in Singapore.

Started in 2010 in the US, American Express’ Shop Small is designed to celebrate the contributions local businesses make to their communities and the economy and to encourage shoppers to support them.

In Singapore, the Shop Small Initiative fits in perfectly with the SingapoRediscovers campaign launched by the Singapore Tourism Board, Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation in July 2020. Said campaign was designed to encourage locals to support home-grown tourism and lifestyle businesses through the discovery of local hidden gems and experiences, along with plenty of promotions and discount offers.

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