NEW YORK — Is Small Business Saturday becoming the “new” Black Friday? Seven in 10 Americans say they’d rather avoid a nearby chain store and trek an average of eight miles to support their favorite independent small business during the holidays.
A recent survey of 2,003 Americans finds that as many gear up for the holiday shopping rush, 59 percent plan to skip shopping on Black Friday. More than one in four say they prefer avoiding large crowds (28%) or never participate in the shopping festivities (27%). Instead, nearly half the poll (48%) will shop at local businesses on Small Business Saturday.
Bye-bye, Black Friday!
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of SurePayroll ahead of Small Business Saturday, the survey also found that eight in 10 feel that small businesses are vital to their community and are overcome with sadness when these places close up shop. While 37 percent find small businesses to be a little more expensive, 46 percent are hoping to save a few extra bucks if they also shop at small, independently-owned businesses this Black Friday.
While 70 percent would have a negative outlook on big-box stores that didn’t offer sales for Black Friday, only 55 percent said the same of independently owned stores. In the last 18 months, more than three in five (64%) have started shopping at more independently-owned businesses. Many of these respondents prefer to get their groceries (47%), dine-in meals (43%), or morning coffee (41%) from them.
Nearly four in five (78%) prefer to buy products from local, small businesses whenever they can and seven in 10 find food from small restaurants to be tastier than food from franchise restaurants. Over half of those who prefer to buy from small businesses add they enjoy supporting local businesses (58%) and 45 percent feel their money does more to help a small business.
“The survey shows small businesses have the potential to win big with consumers this holiday shopping season. Consumers crave the quality, in-person experience and connection to community that shopping with local small businesses can uniquely provide,” says John Cumbee, SurePayroll General Manager, in a statement.
Small business Saturday is about community
Four in five agree that employees at small businesses are friendlier and easier to connect with than workers at chain businesses. The survey found the average American is on a first-name basis with six local mom-and-pop owners or employees.
Two in five dislike big businesses because the shopping experience feels impersonal and the same number (41%) believe it’s because big businesses have replaced some of their favorite local businesses. Respondents also agree that high-quality items (51%) and attentive employees (48%) are much more common at small businesses.
“Americans are invested in supporting independently owned small businesses, where the majority of their spend stays in the community and helps deliver a positive impact to the local economy. Given the choice, an overwhelming number of people this small business Saturday prefer to shop with small businesses, even if a large chain is closer or more convenient,” Cumbee adds.