American Express Co. is making another bet on small businesses, this time letting them borrow more on their cards.
AmEx, long known for charge cards that business customers have to pay off in full each month, will now let those cardholders pay off certain purchases over longer periods, with interest. Customers with the firm’s green, gold and platinum business cards will begin to see the option in November.
“We’ve long heard from our card members who are small-business owners that increased payment flexibility is important to them,” Brett Sussman, vice president of global commercial card lending, said in astatement Tuesday. “This is especially critical during these times of uncertainty.”
It’s thelatest bet that AmEx, the largest provider of cards to U.S. small businesses, is making on the recovery of such firms. The card company last month agreed to buy online lenderKabbage Inc. to help it improve its working-capital offerings. Small businesses have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many to temporarily shut their doors.
More than half of small businesses believe it will take six months to a year before the climate for their firms returns to normal, according to asurvey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For small businesses that have not shut down entirely, just 53% believe they will be able to continue to operate for six months or more without permanently closing.
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