Consumers are realizing the value small businesses bring to their communities and appear to be “shopping small” to support their local economies, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse from American Express OPEN.
 
Based on data collected during July, 89 percent of consumers surveyed said they believe that small businesses contribute positively to their local communities. Ninety-three percent said they believed it’s important for people to support the small businesses they value in their community. Additionally, 87 percent of respondents said that small business success is a critical element of overall U.S. economic health.
Nearly half of those surveyed indicated they thought the strength of the small business economy is the same or better than five years ago.

The study also demonstrates that consumers are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to spending at local small businesses. On average, 33 percent of their monthly discretionary spending is spent at locally owned, independent businesses, with just over $100 per month spent at their favorite store.

When asked to choose the primary reason for shopping at a small business, consumers largely cited the familiarity as being important. Twenty-three percent chose “The people that work there are friendly and greet me by name,” while 22 percent selected, “The people that work there know me and make recommendations of products and services they think I will like” as their reasons for shopping small.

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