American Express launches campaign to support small businesses
MARKHAM, ON, April 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Passion. Community. Pride. These are some of the words that Canadians use when talking about the small businesses in their neighbourhoods, which is why American Express Canada is thrilled to announce the launch of a new program, Shop Small.
Shop Small is starting in Toronto with a program to bring both consumers and small businesses together throughout the month of April. This initiative aims to celebrate and support many of the often unsung drivers of the economy - the thousands of small business owners who make the city unique.
Since November 2012, a widespread campaign to rally small businesses and community leaders to support the program has been underway in Toronto. To date, more than 4,000 merchants in Toronto have joined the Shop Small Network and leaders in government such as the Mayor of the City of Toronto are joining the movement to shop small.
"Small businesses play an incredible role in making Toronto the dynamic city that we are proud to call home," said Mayor Rob Ford. "I encourage all Toronto residents to join me in celebrating small businesses and be a part of the Shop Small movement launched today in Toronto."
John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West, and Jaye Robinson, City Councillor for Ward 25 - Don Valley West, were on hand at the Shop Small launch in Toronto at local patisserie Butter Avenue to kick off the campaign.
To better understand how Canadians feel about small businesses, American Express Canada conducted a national survey, the American Express Shop Small Monitor. Survey results found that 81 per cent of Canadians feel they owe it to their community to support the independent small businesses on their local main street. Additionally, Canadians cite supporting local entrepreneurs (73%) and keeping funds in the local community (70%) as top reasons they shop small.
"We love that Canadians already have such a passion for supporting small businesses," says Jennifer Hawkins, Vice President and General Manager of Merchant Services, American Express Canada. "Shop Small provides an opportunity to harness Canadians' enthusiasm for small businesses and celebrates their impact on local communities and the economy."
To celebrate the launch of Shop Small, American Express is launching a campaign on Facebook to profile this network of merchants. Torontonians are asked to show their love for their favourite Shop Small business in Toronto by voting for them on an interactive map on the American Express Canada Facebook page. The business that receives the most votes will be named Toronto's Neighbourhood Gem, will be featured in an American Express Toronto Life Advertorial, and also receive a consultation with Facebook Canada to better understand how to utilize social channels to drive their business.
"We are proud to be part of the Shop Small initiative because it draws attention to businesses like mine that have significant social impact in the area of wellbeing," says Emily Ridout, Co-Founder, 889 Yoga + Wellness Spa. "It's exciting to be put in the spotlight and to be given the opportunity to access even more people to inspire and care for."
Additional findings from the American Express Shop Small Monitor include:
- 90% of Canadian consumers agree small businesses make a significant economic contribution to their community
- 94% believe it is important to support small retailers, restaurants or businesses
- 92% agree small businesses contribute to their neighborhoods' culture
- 80% like to establish relationships with local shop owners in their neighborhoods
About the American Express Shop Small Monitor
The study was commissioned by American Express Canada and conducted by Rogers Connect Market Research group. The survey was conducted between January 23 and 29, 2013 and involved an online survey among a representative sample of 2,010 Canadian shoppers.
About American Express Canada
American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express charge and credit cards, with outstanding products like the American Express® Gold Rewards Card, and the American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Card. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/AmericanExpressCanada.
Image with caption: "Toronto Councillor Jaye Robinson, MP John Carmichael, bakery owner Calvin Su, and American Express Canada VP and GM Merchant Services Jennifer Hawkins, celebrate the launch of Shop Small at Butter Avenue in Toronto, April 2, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/J.P. Moczulski (CNW Group/American Express)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130402_C9747_PHOTO_EN_25005.jpg
SOURCE: American Express
For further information:
Christina Peck, High Road Communications
Keri MacLellan, American Express Canada