American Express has announced that the 2020 edition of the Business Class LIVE: Summit for Success will take place on Tuesday, October 20th. While the Summit is typically held in person, this year’s event will take place in a virtual campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. This digital space will host seminars throughout the day, as well as give small business owners the opportunity to network. Not only will the ninth-annual Summit provide attendees with resources for navigating the current challenges they face but will also include sessions specifically aimed at minority-owned businesses that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Registration for the Business Class LIVE: Summit for Success is free but will close on October 18th.
According to the Summit site, the agenda for the event includes such speakers as athletes Shaquille O’Neal and Venus Williams, OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow, Diverse and Engaged President Dee Marshall, BuyBlack.us president Ronald Busby, Jr., and many more. Plus, session topics range from “Fundamentals of Online Marketing” and “Accelerating Your Small Business Success with Ecommerce” to “The State of Women-Owned Businesses” and “LGBTQ Perspectives: Leading and Succeeding in Challenging Times and the Age of COVID.” The complete agenda can currently be viewed on the Business Class website.
Reflecting on the environment that this year’s event is occurring under, American Express’s EVP of Global B2B Marketing Clayton Ruebensaal said in a statement, “The COVID-19 crisis has challenged small businesses in more ways than one – employee health and safety, supply chain disruptions, running businesses from living rooms with homeschooling in between and more. It’s shown us all how resilient small businesses can be, while also revealing many pressing questions.”
Ruebensaal continued, “We designed this year’s Summit to answer many of the questions small businesses have today: How do I pivot? What’s the best way to market my business online? What’s the best way to get a loan? How do I stay healthy while working-from-home? We’re doing it by bringing together the right content, speakers and networking opportunities, in an unexpectedly engaging way, to help small business owners turn uncertainty into opportunity.”
The Summit for Success comes just ahead of this year’s Small Business Saturday — which will be celebrated on the Saturday following Thanksgiving (November 28th). It also lands during what Amex has called its largest Shop Small campaign ever. This included a promotion where American Express cardholders could earn $5 back when they spent $10 or more at eligible small businesses. Additionally, the company recently closed its first round of applications for the newly-founded Coalition to Back Black Businesses Grant Program.
Although the 2020 Business Class LIVE: Summit for Success will look and feel a bit different from years past, the good news is that the programming will be more accessible than ever. What’s more, given the tumultuous times that small business owners are enduring, the topics that these sessions will explore couldn’t be more relevant. With all that in mind, small business owners who are interested in (virtually) attending should be sure to register by Sunday, October 18th.