Many shoppers give OK to small business
We don’t usually broach the same topic two weeks in a row for editorials, but this encouraging news brought us back for more on the topic of small business.
American Express spearheads the “Small Business Saturday,” held annually after “Black Friday.” They do so in an effort to help small business get some of the economic pie, where the slices seem to get bigger for the Amazon.com and Walmart online and retail juggernauts.
This year, American Express reported that: 42 percent shopped at a local restaurant or bar, while 24 percent shopped at a local small clothing or accessories store. One shopper in five spent money at small grocery stores or small gift or novelty stores.
Asked what type of small business shoppers associate with their community, consumers said: 24 percent restaurant, bar or pub; 10 percent coffee shop; 9 percent food store; and 6 percent said gift, novelty or souvenir store.
A full 58 percent of Saturday shoppers did so with family members and 62 percent shopped FOR family members, as opposed to themselves, friends or colleagues.
What is more encouraging is that so many people value what small business brings to the table.
Consumers responded in surveys that a full 47 percent believe the staff or owners at independently-owned businesses often provide better customer service; 64 percent enjoy supporting the local community; 32 percent say shopping at independently owned businesses is convenient; and 27 percent add that these businesses have a better selection of items they want.
American Express itself is a large company. But we are glad it is one that at least seems to give a hoot about small business.
As we know well here in Fredericksburg, small businesses drive the economy. Our small businesses run the gamut from beginning entrepreneurs working diligently, to huge success stories that personify the American dream. We are grateful to them all having the courage to step out, and for enhancing our town and our choices when we shop. – K.E.C.