About 88 million Americans spent money at local small businesses on Small Business Saturday this year, a nearly 15 percent increase over 2013, according to a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express.
The survey of about 2,700 Americans, conducted the day after Small Business Saturday, shows the shopping holiday that encourages consumers to shop at locally owned businesses is gaining wider recognition.
“More Americans recognize the direct link between shopping locally and stronger communities and that’s an extremely positive result,” NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner said in a news release. “We’re delighted by the success of Small Business Saturday but we’re even more excited by the growing commitment among Americans to give small businesses a chance to compete all year round.”
The survey results did, however, echo some national trends in spending that show average consumer spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday fell this year. Though 15 percent more people participated in Small Business Saturday, they spent 11.5 percent less on average less than they did last year. (The average Small Business Saturday shopper spent $162 this year, down from about $182 in 2013.) Overall, Small Business Saturday shoppers spent $14.3 billion—up 2.1 percent from last year.
Beyond shopper turnout, the NFIB and American Express survey suggests that Small Business Saturday is becoming widely recognized. While American Express launched the annual event in 2010, many other companies and local and federal government entities have joined to recognize it.
U.S. Small Business Administration launched a #DineSmall campaign this year, encouraging locally owned restaurants to offer promotions and keep longer hours on Small Business Saturday. FedEx, Microsoft and Yelp all worked with American Express to spread the word about the day. Nearly 3,000 “Neighborhood Champions” helped local businesses better market the day and rally together.
This may all spell good news for small businesses this holiday season. As consumers begin to recognize the benefits of supporting local businesses and shopping districts, the hope is they will continue to do so throughout December and into 2015.
Read more about Small Business Saturday.
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