After the success of a similar campaign in the US, American Express Canada has launching their “Shop Small” program across Canada this week. As part of the initiative, Shop Small is starting in Toronto with a program to bring both consumers and small businesses together throughout the month of April. This initiative aims to celebrate and support many of the often unsung drivers of the economy – the thousands of small business owners who make the city unique.
Small business have been an important American Express, back in the fall of 2012 the financial organization has had over 4,000 merchants in Toronto join the Shop Small Network and leaders in government such as the Mayor of the City of Toronto are joining the movement to shop small.
“Small businesses play an incredible role in making Toronto the dynamic city that we are proud to call home,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “I encourage all Toronto residents to join me in celebrating small businesses and be a part of the Shop Small movement launched today in Toronto.”
As part of the campaign, a launch event took place earlier this week where John Carmichael, MP for Don Valley West, and Jaye Robinson, City Councillor for Ward 25 – Don Valley West, were on hand to help kick things off.
American Express Canada also conducted a national survey, the American Express Shop Small Monitor. Survey results found that 81 per cent of Canadians feel they owe it to their community to support the independent small businesses on their local main street. Additionally, Canadians cite supporting local entrepreneurs (73%) and keeping funds in the local community (70%) as top reasons they shop small. (see infographic for more details)
To celebrate the launch of Shop Small, American Express is also launching a campaign on their Facebook page to showcase the network of merchants. Torontonians are asked to show their love for their favourite Shop Small business in Toronto by voting for them on an interactive map on the American Express Canada Facebook page. The business that receives the most votes will be named Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gem, will be featured in an American Express Toronto Life Advertorial, and also receive a consultation with Facebook Canada to better understand how to utilize social channels to drive their business.
Additional findings from the American Express Shop Small Monitor include:
- 90% of Canadian consumers agree small businesses make a significant economic contribution to their community
- 94% believe it is important to support small retailers, restaurants or businesses
- 92% agree small businesses contribute to their neighborhoods’ culture
- 80% like to establish relationships with local shop owners in their neighborhoods
The campaign was supported through ad buy with City TV featuring a 15 second TV spot and 2 live eyes at local small businesses.