NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Small businesses across the country got their holiday season off to a strong start as millions of U.S. consumers “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday and made a big impact on local communities.
According to the second installment of the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent from 34 percent just two weeks ago. Of those aware, nearly half (47%) shopped on Small Business Saturday.
The increased awareness translated into higher spending. Those U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent a total of $5.5 billion with independent merchants. Pre-holiday surveys estimated that U.S. consumers would spend $5.3 billion.
Separately, American Express said Cardmember transactions at small business merchants1 rose approximately 21 percent compared to last year’s Small Business Saturday.
“In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a beacon—creating good jobs and supporting the families they employ and the communities around them,” said NFIB CEO Dan Danner. “We are very pleased that so many Americans sought to give back by shopping small this Small Business Saturday. We hope that support of small firms, retailers, restaurants and other independent businesses continues throughout the holiday season and all year round. Continued support of this vital sector is one important way to ensure our economy fully recovers and a healthy private sector is restored.”
“Small Business Saturday, in its third year, has become an integral part of the holiday shopping season and consumers were out in large numbers to support their favorite small businesses,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “Small Business Saturday celebrated the shops across the country that make our neighborhoods vibrant and bolster the U.S. economy.”
Support from Every Corner of the Country
- Elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. championed Small Business Saturday - including President Obama and many senior government officials.
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a Small Business Saturday Resolution, which supports efforts to encourage consumers to shop locally and increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses. The resolution received bi-partisan support from more than 40 co-sponsors.
- More than 350 small business organizations supported the nationwide initiative with more than 50 Chambers of Commerce and 60 groups organizing events and activities in support of the day.
- 155 corporations, such as FedEx, Twitter, AOL/Patch and Clear Channel, banded together to promote shopping at small merchants for Small Business Saturday.
- More than 3.2 million Facebook users “liked” the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
- More than 213,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday in November, many leveraging the hashtags #smallbizsat and #shopsmall. This includes consumers spreading the word about the national initiative and business owners promoting offers they created specifically for the day.
- 40,000 people received $25 Shop Small American Express gift cards courtesy of FedEx for use at small merchants on November 24th.
Small Business Owners Make the Day their Own
- The inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released earlier this month by the NFIB and American Express, indicated that 46 percent of independent merchants familiar with the day planned to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday strategy.
- Two-hundred and twenty thousand small merchants placed permanent point-of-purchase decals on their storefronts, adding to the 500,000 who placed them in 2011.
- Online tools and materials were leveraged more than 100,000 times by small business owners to help get the word out about Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Success Stories
- “A huge bump. A lot of Staten Islanders came into the store today. At least 100 percent [increase], so double from what we did last year.” – Daniel Schifter of Casale Jewelers on Staten Island, NY (Source: WCBS-TV New York 11/25/12)
- “This Small Business Saturday was probably twice as big as last year's, and the store was packed all day.” – Leah Daniels of Hill's Kitchen in Washington, DC (Source: USAToday.com 11/25/12)
- “Looking back on last year's figures I think we more than doubled, yeah it was fantastic. It's been phenomenal, it's been fantastic, it's fun. We were busy from the moment we opened.” – Stephanie Klein of Stephanie’s in Holdrege, NE (Source: NTV – ABC Nebraska 11/26/12)
- “Sales were the highest they’ve been since the shop’s opening in November 2011. The crowds downtown were comparable to a First Fridays (the monthly Downtown evening shopping event), but more people were buying.” – Margie Kuzia of Humble Home in Racine, WI (Source: The Journal Times 11/24/12)
- “Broadway Paper experienced a 77.6 percent increase in sales from Small Business Saturday 2011 to Small Business Saturday 2012. This drastic increase is incredible and so wonderful, and largely due to American Express' campaign to Shop Small!” – Kate Strzok at Broadway Paper in Milwaukee, WI
About the Survey
The second installment of the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 800 males and females 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study was conducted anonymously by Redshift Research between November 24th and November 25th, 2012. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.46%, at the 95% level of confidence.
About Small Business Saturday
November 24th was the third annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday (SBS) was created in 2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more customers.
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.
1 Small business merchants” include any independently owned small businesses that accept American Express Cards in retail and restaurant industry categories such as general merchandise, apparel and accessories, furniture and home furnishings, books, music, electronics, eating and drinking establishments. Large, national chains, franchised business locations and government agencies are not included in this subset of the overall American Express merchant base.