Program Overview and Application Instructions

Small businesses are vital to thriving communities. They help strengthen and diversify neighborhoods and provide pathways for innovation and entrepreneurship. But the retail landscape is changing. That’s why American Express® is teaming up with Main Street America to give 10 small business owners $10,000 each to help their businesses innovate in this evolving retail landscape. The American Express Future of Shopping Small Grant Program will celebrate small businesses across the country that are a vital part of their community. The Program is intended to support small business that have demonstrated new approaches to traditional business strategies and those businesses looking to try out creative techniques, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial districts.  

Grant recipients should demonstrate commitment to both their local community and principles described in American Express’ Future of Shopping Small Guide. With insights garnered from WGSN, the Future of Shopping Small Guide is filled with actionable tips to help small business owners begin to future-proof their businesses. This guide is available here

To be eligible, entrants must complete the entire application (except for the optional demographics portion) and review the program terms and conditions. Taking applications through 11:59pm CT on March 31, 2020 or whenever 3,000 applications have been submitted - whichever is sooner.

All applications will be judged based on the following criteria:


Proposed idea represents innovative approach to retail and/or connects to principles outlined in American Express' Future of Shopping Small guide. 

Community Impact 

Business demonstrates a commitment to giving back to community and/or community engagement. Business is operating within or supporting an older or historic commercial district. 


Proposed idea is feasible/reasonable given grant amount.

For questions, please contact

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.