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Consumers urged to continue shopping local

People are being encouraged to continue spending their money in local stores. File photo.

New ‘Small Business Recovery’ research released by American Express reveals that Kiwi small businesses urgently need more community support to survive the impacts of the global pandemic.

Small business owners are asking locals to “shop beyond their regular stores” to support a wider range of small local businesses.

It would seem customers in the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel are more loyal than many around the country with two thirds - 60 per cent- of small business owners from the region saying their customers have played a critical role in supporting them during the pandemic, against a national average of 48 per cent.

However, further support is needed for survival with only one in four - 25 per cent - saying that their local community has rallied around them during these tough times.

What’s more, almost half – 44 per cent - need consumer spending to lift in the next couple of months in order to keep their businesses running in 2021, higher than the national average of 32 per cent.

The release of the research accompanies the announcement that American Express is introducing its global Shop Small initiative in New Zealand for the first time ever.

Additionally, the company is announcing a new partnership with BNZ which will add thousands of additional businesses to American Express’ merchant network across the country making it easier for Kiwis to support more businesses by enabling additional payment methods.

The research examines the impact of COVID-19 on New Zealand’s small businesses and the measures that can best support them in rebuilding. It also revealed that four in five businesses for whom the pandemic has had a negative impact, have experienced revenue losses.

Around one-third -32 per cent - need consumer spending to lift within the next month or two just to stay afloat throughout 2021.

“This year has been incredibly challenging for many small businesses,” says American Express Country Manager for New Zealand Rob Bourne.

“More than ever, we need to show our support, which is why American Express is bringing Shop Small to New Zealand for the first time.

“Shop Small celebrates the valuable contributions small businesses make to their communities and the economy and reminds people of the importance of spending with them.

“In times like these, it’s not enough to simply fall back into regular shopping habits. Small businesses are crying out for support, so it’s critical that shoppers look for any opportunity to shop somewhere new.

“Every dollar counts when you’re a small business, especially when for almost two-thirds of them revenue is down on average around half compared to the same time last year.”

Rob also says that small businesses are often the ones to go above and beyond for their local communities, and that local sporting clubs, schools and community groups have long benefited from this generosity, so it’s time that the favour was returned.”

 

 

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