RALEIGH — Black Friday might be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but a survey released today by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express shows that a record number of shoppers plan to shop local on Small Business Saturday.
The survey said a record 55 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday, while 83 percent say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop local and shop small all year long.
“That’s really encouraging,” said Gregg Thompson, North Carolina state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “When you shop local and shop small, you’re supporting your community. When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes back to some corporate office somewhere else, but when you support small, most of that money stays here at home.”
According to the fourth-annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey:
— 80 percent of consumers are willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently-owned retailer as opposed to online or at a large retailer
— On average, consumers are planning to do 35% of their holiday shopping at small businesses
— 45 percent of consumers who expect to shop on the day plan to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year
— Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are motivated by the contributions that small businesses make to their community
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for most of the jobs in this country, and small businesses create most of America’s net new jobs.
“You probably don’t know the owner of a big department store, but there’s a good chance you know a few small-business owners,” Thompson said. “They’re your friends and neighbors. They’re some of the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity. They’re what make our communities strong.”
What’s more, small businesses often sell merchandise—and provide a level of service—that you simply can’t find at a chain store, he said. “Instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner who cares very much about making you happy so you’ll come back time and again throughout the year.”