Returning this November for its sixth year, Shop Small shines the spotlight on the importance of small businesses and encourages Australians to walk through their doors. It reminds people that if they value small businesses and want to see them thrive, they need to support them.

American Express has marked the launch of Shop Small by releasing its largest ever Shop Small research report titled: The Economy of Shopping Small: Back your Backyard. The report looks at who’s returning the favour by backing small business? Who are their biggest champions? What are the challenges of running a small business and do owners feel supported by the consumers in their communities? It also assesses the role that businesses large and small, suppliers, banks and governments play and critically asks: “where is more help needed?”

Key findings from the report include:

  • One third of small businesses are at risk of becoming insolvent in the next 3-5 years and are relying on consumers as their biggest backers.
  • More than half of consumers (59%) don’t believe their shopping habits have an impact on the success or failure of small businesses. This shows that many consumers fail to recognise that every dollar spent with a small business counts.
  • Frequency of spend in small businesses has fallen by 12 per cent over two years among those who shop at least once a week at a local shopping village – 82 per cent in 2016 vs. 70 per cent in 2018. This has led to three in five small businesses reporting flat or declining revenue growth year-on-year.
  • Family are the hidden backers of small business. 57 per cent of owners have a relative working with them in some capacity. 11 per cent said that additional family members step in during busy periods or staff shortages.

While open to all Australians, last year more than one million American Express card members alone participated in Shop Small, with more expected to take part this year.

Visit to learn more about Shop Small and to download a copy of the research.