Shoppers trust local, family-run businesses more than corporations

NEW YORK — According to new research, Americans trust local and family-owned businesses more than any other kind.

A recent poll of 2,000 adults shows that 67 percent trust local businesses and 64 percent trust family-owned businesses. That’s compared to 59 percent when it comes to corporate multinationals and 61 percent who rely on franchises.

Keeping it local

Among the reasons why respondents prefer local and family-owned businesses, 39 percent think they help their community. Other reasons include better quality (34%), transparency about sources (32%), and fewer middlemen (31%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CG Roxane, the survey also asked respondents about their shopping habits and how it impacts their community. More than half (57%) are even willing to spend more money on goods that are locally sourced, and 59 percent agree that it is easy to find those products in their area.

In fact, three in five are more likely to purchase bottled water coming from a natural spring in their region, rather than one trucked in from another part of the country. Even so, things like being owned by someone in the community (44%) and community member staff (40%) ranked at the top in terms of identifying a local business.

Respondents can name an average of five businesses that are active in their community. On top of that, 56 percent consider themselves informed when it comes to community involvement.

Family Owned

When it comes to benefitting by way of scholarships, fundraisers, or other events, over half have benefited directly from this type of community involvement from local businesses. Meanwhile, 42 percent also know someone else who benefitted. More than one-quarter have both benefited and know someone who benefited from local businesses.

“It isn’t surprising that people view family-owned and operated businesses as more trustworthy,” says CG Roxane Office & Human Resources Manager Cindy Miller, in a statement. “But what people may not realize is that it also allows those businesses to make decisions quickly in response to community needs. This includes scholarship initiatives, and environmental and community partnerships. Not only does that enrich the lives of employees, but their families and friends at the local level across the country.”

Shopping eco-friendly too?

The survey also asked respondents about their eco-friendly habits and how those behaviors reflect on their shopping habits. Two-thirds (67%) regularly engage in environmentally-conscious behaviors or activities. When choosing where to purchase their goods, more than half (51%) say they care deeply about the environmental impact of the businesses they support. Respondents value eco-friendly business practices such as recycling initiatives (40%).

For all the positives those surveyed look for in their goods, they also identified several red flags. Things like high cost (35%) and “imported” or “internationally sourced” language can discourage respondents from purchasing that item.

Over the last six months, one in three respondents have purchased goods that are “locally owned” (39%), environmentally friendly (38%), “locally sourced” (37%), and “family-owned” (35%).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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