More holiday shoppers plan to “Shop Small” this year

83% of U.S. consumers inspired to buy local

Black Friday gives way to Small Business Saturday on November 28. The event founded by American Express in 2010 is gaining ground with shoppers looking for a way to support their favorite local businesses. According to American Express, more than half of U.S. consumers say they are aware of the day, and three out of four plan to “shop small” this holiday season.

“Small Business Saturday has grown every year and it's been a big boost to Main Street America,” said Dan Danner, CEO and President of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association. NFIB partners with American Express to promote the event.

Small Business Saturday promises to be lucrative for local merchants across the U.S., with four out of five consumers willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently-owned retailer as opposed to online or from a large retailer. This is especially good news for small merchants often overshadowed by larger competitors during the holiday season.

Small business is big business. According to NFIB’s Consumer Insights Survey, two out of three shoppers plan to spend at least $100 at their favorite businesses. On average, consumers intend to do 35 percent of their holiday shopping at small businesses, and nearly one in two expect to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year.

Since small businesses often don’t have the marketing budgets of their larger counterparts, Small Business Saturday helps bridge the gap by leveraging word of mouth and social media. Shoppers and small businesses are encouraged to show support for Small Business Saturday and become part of the nationwide conversation by using #ShopSmall hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New this year, Facebook is creating a Small Business Saturday Facebook event, to help shoppers mark their calendars and share their plans with family, friends, and coworkers. Small businesses can learn how to use Facebook to market their businesses by visiting the “Facebook for Business” blog post.

Janey Whiteside, Senior Vice President and General Manager of American Express OPEN, said that Small Business Saturday is a major part of the holiday shopping tradition. “It has become a celebration of the local small business owners that we call friends, neighbors and family,” said Whiteside.

In addition to NFIB, American Express Small Business Saturday has the backing of small business and local community advocates like the Small Business Saturday Coalition, and Neighborhood Champions, comprised of small businesses, business associations, local Chambers of Commerce, and other community organizers.