As Small Business Saturday wrapped up its seventh year on Saturday, November 26, the outpouring of support for local businesses across the country hit record highs with 72 percent of U.S. consumers aware of the day. More shoppers reported visiting local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday this year than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. This year, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking a 13 percent increase from 2015.
Consumers came together to show their love for small businesses on Small Business Saturday. Among those who shopped on the day, 32 percent reported attending a community event, and 81 percent reported encouraging friends or family to shop or dine at small, independently-owned retailers and restaurants on the day as well, both on par with 2015.
Additionally, consumers and small businesses helped rally support for Small Business Saturday and their favorite small businesses on social media channels. So far this month, there were 135 million social media engagements in support of Small Business Saturday, up from 85 million in 2015.
“It’s exciting for us to see the record number of consumers who came out in support of independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express. “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community, and the momentum that was started seven years ago with the first Small Business Saturday continues to build.”
At a time when an increasing number of consumers are opting to shop online—and are spreading their holiday shopping spending over a longer period of time than they did traditionally—many still prioritize visiting brick and mortar small businesses on Small Business Saturday. According to the survey, among U.S. consumers who went out and shopped in-store, total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on the day, a decrease from the estimated $16.2 billion spent in 2015.
“Small businesses across the nation are often run by the friends, family, and neighbors that we know well, so supporting them is not only personal but critical to their success,” added Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of NFIB. “Partnering with American Express to promote the awareness and importance of shopping small is something we are very proud of, and look forward to continuing the success of Small Business Saturday.”