Survey Shows Strong Support for U.S. Small Businesses
By this point (and especially with a federal election just a year away) everyone is familiar with the phrase “small businesses are the backbone of the economy.” However, as the holiday shopping seasons grows nearer, it seems that most of the focus is often on national and multinational corporations. Nevertheless — just in time for National Entrepreneurship Month and Small Business Saturday —a new survey from SCORE finds that Americans are very willing to support small business this holiday season and year-round.
Notably the SCORE survey found that the vast majority of Americans regularly shop at a business with fewer than 500 employees. In fact 91% of respondents reported visiting small businesses at least weekly. Moreover 47% said they shop at such locations two to four times a week and 17% said their visits were even more frequent than that. Asked what types of local businesses were their favorites to frequent, bakeries and clothing retailers were tied at the top with 40%. Not far behind were restaurants and bars (37%) followed by independent bookstores (32%) and novelty or souvenir shops (30%).
With Small Business Saturday now just a couple of weeks away, SCORE also asked respondents about their thoughts on the near decade-old retail holiday — with results proving overwhelming enthusiastic. A whopping 97% of those surveyed said that Small Business Saturday has a positive impact on their communities. In turn 80% intended to shop at independent retailers and restaurants on November 30th for this year’s event. Not to be left out, 59% also said they planned to #ShopSmall online.
Summing up SCORE’s finding, the agency’s CEO Bridget Weston said, “This research shows that shoppers feel good about supporting their local small businesses because they recognize the positive impact these businesses have on their communities. That positive impact is emotional – since nothing beats the personalized service and familiarity created by local small businesses – as well as economical.” Weston also noted an interesting stat from SCORE’s research, stating, “An incredible 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community, which strengthens the local economy.” Looking closer at SCORE’s numbers, 44 cents of this goes to the business owner as well as their employees while the other 23 cents is reinvested in other local businesses.
As nice as promotions such as Small Business Saturday can be for getting consumers to support their local establishments, it’s much more encouraging to see so many respondents say that they shop at these businesses far more frequently. Of course, since businesses are opening all of the time, such holidays are a great reminder to seek out new local retailers, restaurants, and services to support. With that, Happy Small Business Saturday and beyond!