Consumers are willing to go the distance for their favorite small business – would you?

SEVEN in 10 Americans would skip a nearby chain and trek an average of eight miles away to support their favorite independent small business.

A recent survey of 2,003 Americans found that as many gear up for the holiday shopping rush, 59 percent plan to skip shopping this Black Friday, listing reasons such as avoiding large crowds (28 percent) and never participating in the shopping festivities (27 percent).

Instead, nearly half (48 percent) said they will shop at local businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of SurePayroll ahead of Small Business Saturday, the survey also found that eight in 10 feel that small businesses are vital to their community and are overcome with sadness when they close up shop.

And while 37 percent find small businesses to be a little more expensive, 46 percent are hoping to save a few extra bucks if they shop at small, independently owned businesses this Black Friday.

While 70 percent would have a negative outlook on chain businesses that didn’t offer sales for Black Friday, only 55 percent said the same of independently owned stores.

In the last 18 months, more than three in five (64 percent) have started shopping at more independently-owned businesses, as many prefer to get their groceries (47 percent), dine-in meals (43 percent), or morning coffee (41 percent) from them.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents prefer to buy products from local small, independently owned businesses whenever they can and seven in 10 find food from small restaurants to be tastier than food from franchise restaurants.

Those who do prefer to buy from small businesses said they enjoy being able to support local businesses (58 percent) and feel their money is better spent at a small business (45 percent).

“The survey shows small businesses have the potential to win big with consumers this holiday shopping season. Consumers crave the quality, in-person experience, and connection to community that shopping with local small businesses can uniquely provide,” said John Cumbee, SurePayroll General Manager.

Four in five agree that employees at small businesses are friendlier and easier to connect with than workers at chain businesses, as the survey found the average American is on a first-name basis with six local mom and pop owners or employees.

Two in five dislike big businesses because the shopping experience feels impersonal and the same number (41 percent) said it’s because big businesses replaced some of their favorite small businesses.

Respondents also agree that high-quality items (51 percent) and attentive employees (48 percent) are much more common at small businesses.

“Americans are invested in supporting independently owned small businesses, where the majority of their spend stays in the community and helps deliver a positive impact to the local economy. Given the choice, an overwhelming number of people this small business Saturday prefer to shop with small businesses, even if a large chain is closer or more convenient,” said Cumbee.

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