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US Consumers Report an Estimated $17 Billion Spending at Small Businesses on 14th Annual Small Business Saturday This Year


WEBWIRE
Photo: Courtesy of American Express
Photo: Courtesy of American Express

According to the American Express 2023 Saturday Consumer Insights Survey1, the total reported projected spending of U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, reached an estimated $17 billion.

Since it launched in 2010, Small Business Saturday has brought communities together by connecting small business owners with local customers to kick off the holiday season when these businesses needed the foot traffic.

Now, 13 years later, total reported spend at small businesses during the annual Small Business Saturday in the U.S. has reached an estimated $201 billion2 since the day was created in 2010. Small Business Saturday in the U.K. will begin on December 2. This is part of the progress we have made towards our commitment to help people and businesses build financial resilience – including our goal to reach $100 billion in spending by consumers at small, independently owned retailers or restaurants on Small Business Saturday and during other Shop Small campaigns from 2021 through 20253.

The 2022 Small Business Economic Impact Study4 showed that if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the U.S. The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.

“It’s inspiring to see the enormous enthusiasm communities show as they get out to shop or dine at small businesses. Small Business Saturday truly brings people together, creating wonderful connections and driving spend at local businesses. For American Express, it’s a testament to why we continue to invest in and celebrate the day,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer at American Express.

The American Express 2023 Saturday Consumer Insights Survey1 reported that 59% of U.S. consumers aware of Small Business Saturday shopped or ate at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant on Small Business Saturday this year. Among those small business shoppers, the survey highlighted that:

  • 61% strongly agree that they found a small business or independently owned restaurant on Small Business Saturday where they are likely to return and become a regular customer
  • 86% shopped in-store, and more consumers (53%) reported shopping online at small businesses than online at large retailers (34%) on the day
  • 41% shopped with family, friends or neighbors at a small, independently owned business


These Small Business Saturday figures are based on a third-party study that gathered consumer self-reported data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults – and does not reflect actual receipts or sales from Small Business Saturday, or American Express Card Member spending data.

To learn about some local businesses and the people behind them who participated in this year’s Small Business Saturday in the U.S., scroll down

Chandeliers + Tulips

Mother/daughter team Nancy & Shanesa Fath opened Chandeliers + Tulips in 2008 as a boutique store offering special design services and locally crafted furniture and designs in Agoura Hills, California.

Chandeliers + Tulips has since expanded to serve the homes of neighboring communities in California including Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Malibu. This was the business’ 11th year celebrating Small Business Saturday.

“Small businesses help contribute to the unique character and charm of a community. By supporting them, we can help promote entrepreneurship and individuality,” said Shanesa Fath. “Small Business Saturday is the only day out of the year that we offer a discount and special in-store events for our customers. We want to pass on the importance of shopping locally, especially during the holiday shopping season. It’s a time when we’re most excited for customers to shop special items from our store like charcuterie boards, natural wood wine holders, snuggly sweaters and hand beaded necklaces.”

Awoke Vintage

What started as a modest market stall in Perth, Australia, Awoke Vintage has relocated across the globe to open three locations in Brooklyn, New York, establishing itself as a special, boutique shop that sells carefully curated pieces and a selection of small Brooklyn-based brands. Together, co-owners Liz Power and Rachel Despeaux have built a community that celebrates individual style.

New Yorkers have joined Awoke Vintage’s Small Business Saturday celebration for 11 years. It has become one of Awoke’s busiest days of the year, according to Power.

“Along with seeing an uptick in sales, we are able to create and foster relationships with our local customers who come out on Small Business Saturday to support local businesses in their area,” she said. “A cute story is that I met a now life-long friend on Small Business Saturday. We were both 25 years old at the time, just moved to New York, and were going through a breakup. Fast forward 11 years now and we are still friends!”

As a business, Small Business Saturday has motivated the brand to become more actively involved in the local community.

Power added, “It reminds us that we belong to an amazing and supportive neighborhood with a myriad of small businesses that make New York such a melting pot. When people actively choose to shop at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, more money stays within the community, which has a positive ripple effect on the local economy.”

Nikoniko Gifts

Nikoniko Gifts is a Japanese & Korean-empowered gift shop located in San Francisco that strives to support Asian artisans, brands and artists. Jessica Ann opened the shop after 14 years as a toy designer, inspired by her grandmother to follow her passions – which influenced the business’ name “nikoniko,” which means “to smile/be smiley.”

With this being the shop’s first year participating in Small Business Saturday, Ann said, “Small Business Saturday and Shop Small allows one-person operated businesses like mine to feel excited about the potential of the business when exposed to new demographics. I am excited to welcome in new customers, build relationships, and for the opportunity to share my story, Asian cultures and beautifully made products with my community.”

She added, “This holiday season, I’m excited about many items in the shop including the Japanese bamboo wreaths, also known as shimekazare, that are specially wrapped in vintage kimono fabrics, ornaments from makers in India and Nepal, 3D flip books, and holiday greeting cards that have a distinct style for every personality, which I think is the best way to share holiday wishes with loved ones.”

Candyality

Candyality is a Chicago-based candy store on a mission to explore the idea of connecting personalities to confections. Terese Lang McDonald opened the shop in 2007, drawing on her childhood memories with the desire to create a business that speaks to everybody.

This is Candyality’s 14th year participating in Small Business Saturday.

“When we first opened our shop, it was during the holidays. We look to Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to celebrate another year of bringing something special to our community - with old and new customers,” McDonald said.

“Our customers are looking for the opportunity to create priceless memories with their family and friends. When they come into the shop, we want to give them an experience where they can have fun and explore the idea of connecting their candy choices to their personality.”

1The American Express 2023 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted by Teneo on behalf of American Express. The study is a nationally representative sample of 2,483 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The sample was collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The study gathered self-reported data and does not reflect actual receipts, sales or American Express Card Member spending data. It was conducted anonymously on November 26, 2023. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.0%, at the 95% level of confidence. Projections are based on the current U.S. Census estimates of the U.S. adult population, age 18 years and over.

 2This spend statistic is an aggregate of the average spend as reported by consumers who shopped small on Small Business Saturday in surveys commissioned by American Express reporting spend habits on Small Business Saturday since 2012. It does not reflect actual receipts, sales or American Express Card Member spending data. Each such survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The data was projected from the samples based on then- current U.S. Census estimates of the U.S. adult population (18+).

3Goal based in part on estimated $42.9 billion reported spending at US and UK Small Business Saturday events in 2021 and 2022. In the US, the American Express 2021 and 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Surveys were conducted anonymously on November 28, 2021 and November 27, 2022, respectively, by Teneo on behalf of American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The studies are nationally representative samples of 2,426 and 2,471 US adults 18 years of age or older, respectively. The samples were collected using an email invitation and an online survey. The studies gathered self-reported data and do not reflect actual receipts or sales. They were conducted anonymously on November 28, 2021 and November 27, 2022, respectively. The surveys have an overall margin of error of +/- 2.0%, at the 95% level of confidence. Projections are based on the current US Census estimates of the US adult population, age 18 years and over. In the UK, American Express commissioned research from Opinium, who polled 4,000 UK adults between 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2021 and 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021 and on Sunday, December 4, 2022. The overall spend figure was calculated by taking the average spend of those who shopped at small, local, independent shops and businesses and multiplying by the total number of UK adults. The estimated UK spend was converted from Global British Pound (£) to US Dollar ($) based on the daily exchange rates when the surveys were conducted.

4The 2022 Small Business Economic Impact Study was conducted by Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) on behalf of American Express. ESI calculated the share of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and employee compensation that small businesses with under 100 employees provide to the economy based on an analysis used by the U.S. Small Business Administration. ESI also estimated how much of each dollar spent at the average small business remains in their local community, and used input-output analysis across 100 representative U.S. counties to calculate the additional impact that is generated locally as the result of the spending of employees and the spending of the small business with local suppliers and service providers.


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