As holiday shoppers pack department stores and pile into big box retailers with the Christmas rush at full tilt, it seems like franchises are hogging the retail space. But according to new data, consumers are spreading the wealth around during the season of giving by also patronizing mom-and-pop shops.
Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president at Mastercard, Inc., told Bloomberg that since 2015, growth in spending among buyers has been more significant among small-business owners than with large franchises. This may explain why more than two-thirds of entrepreneurs in a recent poll done by SCORE said they were optimistic about sales climbing in the next six months. Sixty-nine percent of small-business owners felt this way, despite 48 percent believing policies that favor large businesses may stymie growth in 2018.
“The consumer is shopping small,” Quinlan told the news agency.
“Small Business Saturday was a lucrative sales period for retailers.”
$12.9 billion in sales on Small Business Saturday
Indeed, this year’s Small Business Saturday – two days following Thanksgiving – turned out to be one of the most lucrative since 2010, when it was first recognized. An estimated 108 million shoppers are participated, buying a combined $12.9 billion worth of goods and services, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
Many shoppers opt to buy small because it shores up the local economy, something that 66-year-old Manhattan resident Mary Bresette believes is important.
“I prefer to shop local when I can,” Bresette told Bloomberg. “For me, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
Consumers have plenty of options to select from, as approximately 99 percent of the companies that currently exist in the U.S. are small, according to the Small Business Administration. In 2013 – the most recent year for which data is available – these same small businesses employed nearly 57 million individuals, which accounts for just shy of 50 percent of workers in the private sector.
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