Millennials Are Willing to Pay More to Back Small Businesses

When it comes to supporting small businesses, millennials are willing and able to offer a helping hand.

About half of millennials (ages 16 to 34) are willing to pay more to support a small business versus 38% of Gen X respondents (ages 35 to 49) and 42% of baby boomer respondents (ages 50 to 75), a 2017 survey by AT&T shows. And while 59% of millennials have never worked for a small business, they are the generation most likely to spend more money to support a small business.

AT&T recently surveyed 5,000 respondents to learn more about consumers’ attitudes on small business and why they “shop small.” The finding comes as the millennials carry big-time economic clout. Software giant Oracle says the spending power of millennials is expected to hit $3.39 trillion this year.

When it comes to buying behaviors, the survey by the telecommunication powerhouse revealed restaurants had the most support (58%) then retail stores (40%), followed by medical offices, hair salons, and coffee shops, all with 35% each. Some 90% of all respondents reported they shop at small businesses at least once a month and nearly half shop at a small business weekly.

Another finding was “staying local” is a big motivating factor to “shop small” for all respondents.

Forty-eight percent reported they want to support local employment, while 47% say they want to keep money local as top reasons to shop at a small business.

Supporting local employment—along with convenience—were other motivators for millennials to shop at a small business.

Respondents want small businesses to help fulfill their tech needs. Twenty-three percent of respondents want Wi-Fi available from a small business, while 10% want mobile payment options.

And 56% of all respondents feel more favorable about large companies that support small businesses.