Black Friday may have the name recognition, but shoppers turned out in force for another, less well-known shopping holiday over the long, four-day weekend.
This year’s Small Business Saturday took place Nov. 26, and showed a 13 percent increase in participating shoppers compared to last year.
Small Business Saturday takes place after Black Friday, drawing shoppers into local, small businesses and away from Black Friday’s mega-store monopoly. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) along with American Express released the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey on Monday.
Consumers shopped small in person and online, spreading their shopping out over a longer time period and opting for some online shopping like many did for Black Friday. The survey cited this reason for a decrease in spending to around $15.4 billion at independent stores and restaurants, from around $16.2 billion in 2015.
Despite the decrease in sales, shoppers came together for the day, 32 percent reported attending an event in their community, while 81 percent urged friends and family to contribute to small businesses on the day.
“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, American Express EVP of global advertising and media. “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.”
This year, more than 6,700 ‘Neighborhood Champions,’ which help rally shoppers in their neighborhoods, corralled local businesses and established events and activities in their communities, increasing 63 percent over 2015. Among those promoting the day, President Obama released a letter recognizing the day.
“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,” said Juanita Duggan, NFIB CEO and president. “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.”