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Survey: Small Business Saturday Inspires Consumers to Shop Local


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While consumers prepare for a weekend of holiday traditions, which includes seasonal shopping, small businesses are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, which will be celebrated on Nov. 25 this year. Six in 10 (61 percent) U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday going into the day, and of those, 82 percent plan to shop at a small, independently-owned retailer or dine at a small, independently-owned restaurant on the day, according to the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express. 

Created by American Express in 2010 as a way to help small businesses get more customers, Small Business Saturday is held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Now entering its eighth year, the day is embraced by independent merchants of all kinds—from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to service providers to e-commerce businesses. And as consumer shopping habits continue to evolve, they are prioritizing small businesses—even those online: the report found that 59 percent of consumers said they are likely to seek out a small, independently-owned retailer when shopping online on Small Business Saturday.

Among those who are aware and who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday this year, 65 percent say the main reason they will support local, independently-owned retailers and restaurants is because they value the contributions small businesses make to their community.

The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey found:

  • As much as 80 percent of all consumers surveyed say at least some of their holiday shopping will be done at small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants.
  • Three-quarters (75 percent) of all consumers surveyed are planning on going to one or more small businesses as part of their holiday shopping while 90 percent of all consumers surveyed agree it is important for them to support small, independently-owned restaurants and bars.
  • Of consumers who are aware of Small Business Saturday, 89 percent agree that the day encourages them to Shop Small all year long, not just during the holiday season.
  • For those who are aware and who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, 44 percent plan to spend more this year compared to last year.

Local support for Small Business Saturday is largely driven by Neighborhood Champions: small businesses, business associations, local Chambers of Commerce and other community organizers who help energize their neighborhoods on the day. To date, more than 7,200 Neighborhood Champions have signed up to plan activities and events to draw shoppers to small businesses across the U.S., leading up to and on Small Business Saturday. 

Another important group that drives participation on the day is the Small Business Saturday Coalition. Led by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), the Small Business Saturday Coalition was created in 2011 to help amplify the Shop Small message. The Coalition is comprised of national, state and local associations that help coordinate Small Business Saturday activities with merchants, consumers, small business owners and public officials in every state across the country.

Consumers have made it a tradition each year to share their love for Small Business Saturday on social media, and all are encouraged to show off their favorite independently-owned businesses by using #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This year, American Express is also encouraging consumers to RSVP on Facebook here for reminders about the nationwide celebration to Shop Small on Nov. 25.

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