Consumer Payment Card News

Tiny Business Card

Any business, any size can now plasticize. American Express has introduced the Community Business Credit Card for very small businesses. The new card contributes one percent of spending to select microenterprise development organizations that provide loans and technical assistance to microbusinesses. “Microenterprises” are businesses with fewer than five employees and capital needs of less than $35,000 a year. The new AmEx credit card has no annual fee and a 3.9% six-month intro rate followed by a prime +5.99% APR. AmEx has signed agreements with 11 organizations to market the new card to their members and to raise the awareness of microenterprise development. AmEx has also engaged three non-profit, national organizations as partners in the Community Business program including: ACCION, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, and Count-Me-In for Women’s Economic Independence. ACCION helps low-income, self-employed people work their way up the economic ladder with dignity and pride. In the United States and Latin America, ACCION provides small loans and training to these hard working entrepreneurs – corner grocers, seamstresses, childcare providers — to help them grow their small businesses and improve the lives of their families. ACCION USA lends in New York City, greater Chicago, Atlanta, throughout Texas and New Mexico and in San Diego. Seventy-five percent of U.S. clients are Hispanic. (www.accion.org) AEO provides its members with a forum, information and a voice to promote enterprise opportunity for people and communities with limited access to economic resources. AEO will be distributing funds from the Community Business program to eight AEO member groups that will use the funds to serve their clients. (www.microenterpriseworks.org) Count – Me – In for Women’s Economic Independence serves women of all ages, races and religious groups across the United States. This online micro-lender provides business loans, training and mentoring to women struggling to start their own businesses, enabling them to support themselves and their families. (www.count-me-in.org) American Express has also created a new web site dedicated to Community Business (www.americanexpress.com/communitybusiness) where visitors will find information about microenterprise, about the recipient organizations and marketing supporters of Community Business, as well as a pressroom providing news and information.

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