Small businesses are an integral part of the American economy. According to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2021 report, small businesses make up 99.9% of all American businesses. Every year, more and more sprout up as people develop new ideas and new ways of doing things. Whether it’s your local coffee shop or friendly, neighborhood bookstore, small businesses are everywhere.
There are a number of reasons why shoppers love a small business. Not only are they able to provide unique products and services, but they also tend to have more sustainable business practices. But what is it that makes Americans choose a small business over the number of big box stores on every corner? A recent GOBankingRates survey found the top 3 reasons why people prefer to shop locally.
1. The Personal Relationships
The best small businesses understand that their relationship to their customers is priority one, and it seems that shoppers really value that relationship as well. According to the survey, 53% of Americans enjoy the personal relationships they have with local businesses.
Business owners are looking for repeat customers to generate profit, and the best way to achieve that is to engage with them. These interactions can provide a lot of important feedback like whether the homepage is easy to navigate or whether the store’s organization is a little confusing. Small business owners are better able to engage with their customers and can therefore provide a more customer-forward shopping experience. And because these businesses are tied to the community, they understand what it needs.
2. The Customer Service
A strong personal relationship would be nothing without customer service, and the majority of Americans agree. 54% of survey respondents said that they shopped small because of the customer service.
Big corporations aren’t well known for their customer service. When something goes wrong, they can make it hard to feel heard. Much of their problem-solving involves a call center employee repeating the standard operating procedures and explaining that there’s nothing they can do.
When you’re dealing with a local shop, you know that when you call or visit, you’ll be dealing with someone who cares about their business and their customers. And smart business owners strive to take care of their customers so that they come back.
3. Supporting Local Communities
It’s a lot easier to put money towards something that matters to you, like a friend’s Etsy store or your neighbor’s lawn care service, because you can see the impact on a more personal level. Our survey found that 64% of people shop locally in order to support their communities. And small businesses can make a big difference.
According to the same SBA report, small businesses create 1.5 million jobs for Americans, which makes up 64% of all new jobs. And when the economy is staring down a bear market, job creation is something to be excited about. These businesses contribute to the local economy, and the property taxes tend to help the larger community as well.
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