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Are Small Businesses Still Popular with Americans?
by Bridget Weston
June 13, 2024
Infographic reading: 91% of Americans shop at a small business once a week, 47% 2 to 4 times, and 17% more than 4 times

In an age when eCommerce and big-box stores dominate the conversation when it comes to shopping, it’s natural to overlook the important role small businesses play in our local economies.

Fortunately, most Americans have not overlooked it.

In fact, according to our latest infographic sponsored by Nav, “How Do Americans Support Small Businesses?” 91 percent of Americans patronize a small business at least once a week.

A small business is defined as one that has fewer than 500 employees.

Statistics also show that nearly half of American consumers (47%) go so far as to frequent small businesses between two and four times a week. Another 17% visit local businesses even more than that.

Consumers’ Favorite Small Business Destinations

Food and beverage businesses are Americans’ favorite destinations with 77% of them patronizing independently owned bakeries, restaurants, bars, and pubs. Clothing, accessory, and shoe stores are next at 40%, while bookstores (32%) and gift, novelty, and souvenir stores (30%) round out the list.

Americans’ support for small businesses makes a lot of sense. Besides being the nation’s top employers, small businesses are where we gather to see our friends and neighbors. It’s where we get to know one another and build relationships. Small businesses tend to be more attentive to customers, thus they deliver a higher level of customer service.

The Economic Impact of Small Businesses

Small businesses also keep money in the community.  For every dollar you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community, and a majority of that (44 cents) goes to the small business owner and the wages and benefits of their employees. The benefits don’t stop there, either. Small businesses reinvest 23 cents of every dollar into other local businesses.

Ultimately, that dollar you spent at that small business creates an additional 50 cents of local economic impact, which means when you shop at small businesses, your dollars go a lot further. Thirty cents of that economic impact comes from small businesses using local vendors and 20 cents gets spent locally by the owner and their employees.

The Power of Small Business Saturday

This year, Small Business Saturday is on Nov. 30 and will mark the end of National Entrepreneur Month. American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to increase revenue for small businesses, and nine years later, the tradition has stuck.

Held on the Saturday after Black Friday every year, Small Business Saturday is incredibly popular with consumers. Last year, 97% of consumers said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their communities, and 80% said they were planning to shop at independently-owned retailers or restaurants on that day. Another 59% said they planned to shop online—but still patronize local businesses.

What Should You Do?

Small Business Saturday is a great way for small businesses to build relationships with and sell products to the consumers living in their communities. It’s not the only way to leverage the power of your small business identity, however.

Connect with a SCORE mentor today to help your business prepare for unique opportunities like Small Business Saturday every day of the year. Our mentors are waiting to talk!

About the author
Bridget Weston
Bridget Weston
Bridget Weston is the CEO of the SCORE Association, where she provides executive leadership and works directly and collaboratively with the Board of Directors to establish the vision and direction of SCORE.
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Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association,

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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