Entrepreneurs Should Plan Big For This Upcoming Small Business Saturday

A record number of shoppers are making plans to support their favorite local businesses, as small business owners across the nation gear up for Small Business Saturday.

According to the fourth-annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, supporting local small businesses continues to be a priority for shoppers nationwide.

About 77% of U.S. consumers are planning to ‘Shop Small’ this holiday season. And almost two-thirds (65%) plan to spend at least $100. Growing community involvement and additional activities to enhance the shopping experience are huge factors.

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 as a response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers. Held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday helps rally communities to support local businesses. As Small Business Saturday enters its sixth year, 55% of U.S. consumers report they are aware of the day – the highest figure yet recorded – and even more encouraging, 83% say Small Business Saturday inspires them to Shop Small all year long.

[Related: 3 Tips For Owners To Get The Most Out Of Small Business Saturday]

“Small Business Saturday is a major part of the holiday shopping tradition, and has become a celebration of the local small business owners that we call friends, neighbors and family,” noted Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of American Express OPEN. “We’re immensely proud to be a founding partner of Small Business Saturday, and it is gratifying to see how it has become the movement that it is today.”

Additional findings from the survey revealed that 80% of consumers are willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently-owned retailer as opposed to online or at a large retailer. On average, consumers are planning to do 35% of their holiday shopping at small businesses and 45% of consumers who expect to shop on the day plan to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year Also, almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are motivated by the contributions that small businesses make to their community

Part of what helps make Small Business Saturday a success is the Small Business Saturday Coalition, which helps rally communities to Shop Small on November 28. The Coalition was created in 2011 and is led by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). The Coalition is comprised of national, state and local associations that help coordinate Shop Small activities with merchants, consumers, and small business owners.

Another important group that drives Small Business Saturday activities is Neighborhood Champions, which is comprised of small businesses, business associations, local Chambers of Commerce, and other community organizers. To date, more than 3,500 Neighborhood Champions, up 26% from 2014, have signed up to plan local community activities leading up to and on the day.

Social media and word of mouth are invaluable tools for raising awareness of small businesses and the Shop Small Movement in general. To become part of the nationwide conversation this year and show support for Small Business Saturday, consumers and small businesses are encouraged to show their love for their favorite independent businesses leading up to and on Small Business Saturday by using the #ShopSmall hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

New this year, Facebook is creating custom content for consumers and small business owners. For example, the Small Business Saturday Facebook event will help shoppers mark their calendars and share their plans with family and friends. On the Facebook for Business blog post, entrepreneurs can learn more about how Facebook can help market their businesses on Small Business Saturday.