American Express

According to a recent Amex survey, 60% of Canadian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) believe that with their current cash flow, they can’t maintain business for more than six months

In a first for American Express outside of the United States, the company is announcing the international expansion of its existing business financing product suite with the launch of Business Loans in Canada and Australia. American Express Business Loans, in partnership with ODX, will offer unsecured business loans of between $5,000 and $250,000 CAD to a select group of its small and medium enterprise customers in Canada. This move further showcases American Express’ continued commitment to backing Canadian businesses by providing them with the access to the capital they need to grow and recover from the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Express has partnered with global originations platform ODX to introduce these loans and harness the capabilities of its world-class digital platform to ensure a seamless online application and approvals process. The loans will initially be offered to a select group of American Express business card members, with more card members invited to apply throughout the year.
“While the Card is still a key B2B payment tool for SME customers, we’re looking to build our portfolio of offerings designed to support business owners beyond the Card,” says Paul Roman, Vice President and General Manager of Global Commercial Services, American Express Canada. “With small business owners in Canada needing our support now more than ever, this is the perfect time to focus on extending our leadership in SME lending globally.”This announcement comes at a challenging time for many SMEs. Amex recently commissioned The American Express SME Recovery Survey to better understand the current environment for Canadian business owners.
Survey findings revealed that:It’s been a tough year for many Canadian SMEs, and small businesses are the most vulnerable.

  • Only 40% of SMEs believe that with their current cash flow they can maintain operations for more than six months.
  • However, despite considerable challenges, many feel optimistic about the 2021 outlook, with only 12% feeling pessimistic about what the year holds for their business.
  • While many SME owners have ideas for growth and feel inspired to reinvest in themselves and their business, they see access to capital from financial lenders as an essential factor in being able to do so.
Many SME owners are having to make personal sacrifices to ensure their businesses stay successful throughout COVID-19.

  • One-third of Canadian SMEs have had to take extraordinary steps, putting up personal assets like their homes and businesses to survive.
  • 43% made personal sacrifices to ensure their businesses stay successful, including forgoing personal purchases and vacations.
  • When asked when they last treated themselves to a special purchase, only 35% said that they’ve treated themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Canadian SMEs are looking to access loans in 2021.

  • Many Canadian SMEs are looking to access business loans to ensure survival (31%), expand (30%), innovate (18%), or cover essential costs (15%). However, many have identified roadblocks in the usual loan process.
  • In fact, while 2 of 5 of SME owners sought loans, only 1 in 5 described the process as hassle free.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with American Express in their efforts to help businesses grow and recover,” added Brian Geary, President of ODX. “Given the dramatic shift in customer needs and preferences during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to provide them with a digital experience to tap into financing. We are proud to work alongside such an iconic brand in the pursuit of making working capital readily available to businesses in Australia and Canada to fuel the recovery.”