Shop small to support our local legends

9th September 2020 | Eativity editors

Fish Butchery, located in Sydney’s Paddington, was among a selection of small businesses from across the country to feature in this year’s Shop Small campaign. Now in its eighth year in Australia, the movement, founded by American Express, celebrates the valuable contributions small businesses make and encourages shoppers to support them.

American Express committed $200 million+ globally to help jumpstart spending at small businesses, many of which were impacted by COVID-19, through its largest ever Shop Small campaign. According to small business recovery research conducted by American Express, almost two thirds of all small business owners reported that having their regular customers return and spend again would help their recovery most in the coming months.

And it appears community support is shining through. Two thirds of small business operators have said they’ve been invigorated by how the community is rallying to support them, and others like them. We like the sound of that – now it’s time to make it three thirds.

Josh Niland, owner of Fish Butchery and Saint Peter restaurant, was featured on American Express Australia’s social media channels as part of the campaign.

“We are proud to represent small businesses,” Niland says. “It’s a sector that is full of fight, passion and determination. Small business owners leave nothing left for the return journey; it’s a give-all life. They are the backbone of our Australian ‘have a go’ identity and, at this difficult time, many owners have their entire livelihoods at stake.”

When Niland’s restaurant had to close temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions, what was at first a business blow soon led to a new business model – Fish Butchery at Home.

“The new offering helped to ensure our community was still able to enjoy our products, and we were able to stay afloat,” Niland says. “Thanks to the popularity of the at-home kit, and the vast amount we needed to produce each week, our chefs remained employed.”

Fish Butchery at Home’s offerings kept Niland’s business afloat, and staff employed.

In a positive sign for the sector, two thirds of shoppers say “shopping small” is a priority as businesses reopen in their area, assuming they can follow social distancing guidelines.

“Small businesses have been hit hard and can’t be successful without strong community support,” says Corrina Davison, Managing Director, American Express Australia. “Now, more than ever, we need to do our bit and ‘Shop Small’ so that these businesses can continue to be intrinsic to our local areas.”

Niland says the pandemic has changed his whole perspective as a small business owner.

“We understand that as a small business we need multiple streams of revenue to survive, not just one single purpose,” he says. “Through our Fish Butchery at Home offering, we’ve been able to reach a far broader audience, which is important to us as it not only expands our sustainability messaging and reach, but has also helped us to survive.

“Our regulars know the great lengths we go to, to give them the very best quality fish. Now, due to how we’ve adapted our business model, more of our community knows this, too.”

To learn more about Shop Small, visit