Amex commits $200M to small biz recovery, $10M to Black-owned biz

American Express committed more than $200 million to help small merchants recover from the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown over the next few months, according to a press release.

American Express is giving eligible card members $5 for every $10 spent at an eligible small merchant when they shop online, curbside or in-store through Sept. 20. Cardholders must enroll by July 26 and can qualify for the discount up to 10 times during the promotion period.

“American Express has backed small business owners through challenging times for decades, and we are standing for them today, as many struggle to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephen Squeri, chairman and CEO of American Express, said in a company release. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and now is the time to join together and help them rebound from this global crisis, because their success is critical to job creation, strong economies and thriving neighborhoods.”

The promotion is also available in Canada, the U.K. and Australia, with rollouts planned for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain with more countries to follow.

The company conducted a survey showing 62% of small businesses said they needed to see consumer spending recover to pre-COVID-19 levels in order to avoid shutting down.

The company has also pledged $10 million over the next four years and is forming a coalition with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to provide grants to Black-owned small businesses as part of a program to address systemic inequalities. The coalition will include the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League and Walker’s Legacy.