January 03, 2024


American Express Commits $12.75M in Grants to Aid Small Businesses in Climate Resilience and Disaster Recovery

Published in ESG News on December 26, 2023.

American Express announced that it is providing $12.75 million in grants to five non-profit organizations as it launches a new initiative to support small businesses prepare for and rebuild stronger in the aftermath of natural disasters and climate events. The grantees include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Resilient Cities Catalyst, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Urban Sustainability Directors Network and Oxford Brookes University. 

This initiative builds on our long history of backing small businesses as we partner with non-profit organizations to help vulnerable small businesses recover from natural disasters and develop sustainable solutions to make them more climate resilient,” said Jennifer Skyler, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. “Launching in 11 cities around the world, our goal is to expand the global reach of this initiative to enable even more small businesses rebuild and emerge stronger from climate-related events and grow sustainably in the years to come.

According to a statistic from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, an estimated 25% of small businesses do not reopen after a local disaster in the United States. As part of its new initiative, American Express will help small businesses better navigate climate-related challenges and prepare for future events by focusing on three key areas:  

Recover Stronger

In collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, we will help launch a natural disaster recovery and preparedness fund that will provide 2,000-3,000 small businesses impacted by natural disasters with both short-term flexible and long-term recovery funding.

Build Resilience

In addition to recovery efforts, the initiative will assist small businesses plan for natural disasters before they arise by helping establish climate-resilient infrastructure and preventative actions to minimize risk to their businesses:

  • Resilient Cities Catalyst will support approximately 500 small businesses across 13 neighborhoods design and deliver climate resiliency projects through the Small Business Climate Resilience Program. Through municipal and small business partnerships, the program will support innovative design and delivery of short-term and long-term resilience interventions.
  • Together with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, we will help nearly 250 businesses develop and implement preparedness plans and provide 1,000 more businesses access to technical assistance on sustainability projects.

Grow Sustainably 

To promote a sustainable future, our partnerships will provide technical assistance and training for small businesses to help develop environmental sustainability targets, initiatives and solutions:

  • Together with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, we will partner on rooftop solar installations for up to 45 small businesses and share best practices for ongoing small business support across a network of local governments.
  • Our partnership with Oxford Brookes University in the U.K., we aim to educate and mentor approximately 500 small business owners on sustainability basics and action planning.