Supporting small business at heart of ARA and American Express strategic partnership

Friday 21 May 2021

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and American Express have cemented a long-term partnership focused on assisting the Australian retail sector, particularly small businesses, in its COVID-19 recovery.

The multi-year deal builds on the existing relationship between the two organisations and will see the launch of retail support initiatives including a podcast, educational webinars and amplification of the American Express Shop Small program.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said that as businesses continue to face challenges in their recovery, partners with a deep understanding for the retail community like American Express have an integral role to play.

“American Express is a committed and valued part of our retail community, and their team have played an important role through the pandemic offering resources, insights and promotional support to small businesses in particular,” Mr Zahra said.

“Australia’s economic recovery remains uneven and small businesses, in CBD locations in particular, continue to be impacted by low office populations and international students and tourists still largely missing from our cities. We value the support, experience and insights from companies like American Express with a deep history through many disruptive and intense change periods for retail and we share a commitment to creating sustainable growth opportunities for Australian retailers.”

Commenting on the partnership, Robert Tedesco, Vice President of Global Merchant Services for American Express Australia and New Zealand said, “American Express, like the ARA, has a rich history in the retail sector and we are equally committed in our desire to see retailers bounce back quickly from the challenges of the past 18 months.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that retailers get customers through their doors and spending again and we are here to back them in their efforts,” Mr Tedesco said.

As part of the partnership, American Express will sponsor Retail Therapy, a new podcast series hosted by Mr Zahra which will feature interviews with the CEOs of leading retailers from across Australia and the globe. Listeners will be offered a unique insight into how these industry leaders work, what defines their leadership style and how they got to the top of their game.

American Express’ Shop Small campaign is also back in 2021, becoming an all-year-round initiative that incentivises American Express Card Members to spend with small businesses. American Express Card Members who first save the Shop Small offer to their eligible card, will get three extra points per dollar spent with participating small businesses until 31 March 2022, in-store or online, up to 40,000 extra points.*

“Campaigns like Shop Small have become an important support for retailers and we’re always looking for opportunities where we can amplify our impact. Extending this campaign to run throughout 2021 encourages a true shift in spending habits; embedding the practice of shopping small into consumer routines,” Mr Tedesco said.

American Express is part of the ARA’s growing network of strategic partners which includes Salesforce, Deloitte, Afterpay, QUT, Hitch Advisory, Mastercard and Fabric/TBWA.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.