Amex Trendex: Holiday Business Spend Survey

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The FINANCIAL — According to the Amex Trendex: Holiday Business Spend Survey, 78% of small- and mid-size business owners and financial decision makers said payment flexibility is important during this holiday season, with a majority planning to focus their spending on technology (54%), protective equipment (40%), and office supplies (38%). The Holiday Business Spend Survey respondents also said the three biggest challenges they currently face are finding new customers (40%), adapting to new technologies (38%) and cash flow (38%).

As previously announced, starting November 1, new American Express U.S. Green, Gold and Platinum Business Card Members will have access to Pay Over Time from day one of membership, giving small business owners payment flexibility at a time when they may need it most. Most eligible existing Card Members will be enrolled in Pay Over Time at the start of their November billing cycle. According to the Holiday Business Spend Survey, 50% of respondents said the most helpful card benefit for their business is flexible payment terms, and a majority (86%) believe flexible payment options would help them better manage their evolving cash flow needs. Among those who say payment flexibility would help them better manage their cash flow needs, 44% of small- and mid-sized business owners and financial decision makers say it would help them reinvest back into their business (44%), cover the gap as they wait for incoming payments (43%) and continue to keep customers and employees safe (38%).

Looking ahead to 2021, as small- and mid-size business owners and financial decision makers prepare for the new year, 59% expect technology to be their top business spend expense next year, followed by protective equipment (36%) and office supplies (36%). Over the next year, small- and mid-sized business owners and financial decision makers plan on financing technology or IT equipment purchases (57%), enhancing their company’s online presence (45%), and investing in marketing to attract new customers (42%). Without flexible payment options, small- and mid-sized business owners and financial decision makers noted they would be most likely to cut their budgets in 2021 for technology (44%), office supplies (37%) and travel and entertainment (34%) expenses.

About the Amex Trendex: Holiday Business Spend Survey:

To further understand business owners’ needs and challenges, and the pros when it comes to payment flexibility, American Express surveyed U.S. small- and mid-size business owners and financial decision makers about their business spend for this holiday season, end-of-year housekeeping and 2021 business spend plans.

Amex Trendex: Holiday Business Spend Survey Methodology:

Findings are based on results of an online survey conducted among 500 small- and mid-size business owners and financial decision makers in the United States whose revenue ranges from $300K-$300M balanced across revenue, gender and region. The survey was conducted by a third-party vendor and completed between October 15-23, 2020. The margin of error (MOE) for the total sample at the 95% confidence level is +/- 4 percentage points.

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