Indians #ShopSmall to support small local businesses

Indians #ShopSmall to support small local businesses
American Express - Shop Small InitiativeAmerican Express India
Small businesses and shops have always been the backbone of the Indian economy. During the pandemic around 40 million small business owners right from small manufacturers to store owners to service providers suffered from the strict lockdown norms.

Yet, there is a silver lining that brought in a ray of optimism as the country unlocked slowly. Indian consumers pivoted their purchase patterns preferring local small businesses, independent stores and local restaurants, which need their patronage.

Small businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy and have been impacted the most during the pandemic. Through our Shop Small initiative, we are reinforcing our longstanding commitment to support small businesses by bringing them closer in the safest possible way to the consumers and providing them the required resources to revive their business with confidence.

Manoj Adlakha, SVP and CEO, American Express Banking Corp. India

It’s been a particularly difficult year for businesses this year and more so for smaller merchants. I’ve always tried to shop local but now, more than ever, is when we really need to support small businesses to help them stay afloat through this difficult period.

Shivesh Bhatia of bakewithbhavesh fame

Vocal for Local

Customer awareness and the intent to support the local community is a key factor in bringing in footfalls. The thought process was reinforced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address soon after the lockdown was announced. "In times of crisis, this local (system) has fulfilled our demand, and saved us. Local is not just the need, it is our responsibility as well," he said in his speech.


Indians #ShopSmall to support small local businesses
American Express

Shop Small with American Express to support your favorite places

AmEx which has had a history of supporting small businesses launched a unique campaign #ShopSmall to provide an incentive for customers to spend. This, in turn, becomes a stimulus for the merchants. As per the campaign, customers who spend Rs 1,000 at the stores will receive a Rs 500 cashback. This benefit can be availed up to three times during the offer period which is valid till December 31, 2020.

The #ShopSmall offer is a win-win for merchants as well as Cardmembers. Cardmembers can use the map hosted on the American Express website to identify their favorite merchants who are a part of the ShopSmall offer and get a liberal 50% cashback on their purchases.

Ajay Awtaney, founder editor of, a travel and lifestyle spending information website

The campaign covers small and medium sized merchants across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore covering retail shops, healthcare services, restaurants and hotels.

One such store to gain from the campaign is the famous Sapna Book Store at the Majestic area in Bangaluru.

We had to overcome the fear that people had within themselves, in a positive manner. The campaign by American Express has really benefited the customers and business will increase going forward

Nitin Shah, owner of Sapna Book House

Biggest challenge for us was to get customer footfall back to our store post lockdown. The Shop Small campaign has enabled us to get our customers back by ensuring a safe shopping environment.

Raunaq Sahni, chief of staff and Head – Retail, Meyer India, Pots and Pans, New Delhi

Another one in Mumbai is Le15 Patisserie, which is owned by India’s Macaron Queen Pooja Dhingra. It had shuttered down for a few months and had to close their cafe as well. Now, with ShopSmall Amex Cardmembers can savour their favorite cupcakes and macarons and also receive a cashback.

The new normal

The stores too are playing their part in dispelling fear. As per the AmEx survey, 45% of small businesses started accepting new methods of payments like contactless payment channels; 43% educated/trained self/staff on maintaining safety in the stores; 37% increased efforts to advertise on social media and a whopping 34% started new methods of delivery like contactless delivery.

We are committed to supporting the small businesses re-start with confidence, while ensuring the safety of their customers. We are providing all possible support to our merchant partners. We have distributed over 75000 recovery kits which includes a range of social distancing materials and hygiene supplies like hand sanitizer sprays, masks, and face shields etc. This is our way of conveying we are with you and will back you at all times.

Anurag Gupta, Head, Global Merchant Services, American Express India

The credit card giant too has been working towards supporting small businesses for a long time now and has globally committed to invest around $200 million across this ecosystem. In its first year in India, Shop Small campaign has been launched for small businesses across Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, with an assortment of merchants across retail, dining, healthcare and services.

The pandemic has changed the way all of us live, eat and shop. Shop Small by American Express is a welcome initiative as it encourages us to get back to our lives and livelihoods and also ensures that small shops are supported. We, at Retailers Association of India, believe that these kinds of initiatives help in bringing back the cheer to one of the largest growing economies of the world.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with American Express India.