According to the American Express Shop Small Impact survey, 56 percent of small businesses agree that this year’s Small Business Saturday is “more critical than ever for their business” and 78 percent reported that holiday sales will impact their ability to stay open in 2022.
The 12th annual Small Business Saturday by American Express is set to take place on Nov. 27. The campaign is part of the company’s goal to bring $100 billion in consumer spending to small businesses from now until 2025.
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At the same time, Amex’s data shows that consumers have the potential to contribute an estimated $695 billion into the U.S. small economy. And survey findings indicate they will certainly try, with 80 percent of consumers reporting they are likely to shop from small businesses during the holiday season.
“Excitement is building among consumers and small businesses ahead of the holidays, with 63 percent of small business owners surveyed reporting that they are preparing for a bigger holiday shopping season than last year despite supply chain shortages and other challenges due to the pandemic,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express. “We’re rallying consumers to help deliver a strong holiday season for small businesses in communities across the country. It’s so important to support our favorite small businesses not only on Small Business Saturday but throughout the holiday season and all year long.”
To get a deeper understanding of the younger consumer sentiment in particular, Amex also conducted a survey of Gen Z consumers. Notably, findings of the survey indicated that this cohort is especially supportive of independently owned businesses in their community with 93 percent of Gen Z consumers saying they are likely to shop small either online or in-store as part of their holiday shopping this year.
Moreover, 78 percent of Gen Z survey respondents said they believe that small businesses are essential to their community and 84 percent said it is important to support small businesses because of the impact the pandemic has had on them. While this is substantial, Gen Z’s sentiment and support did not overshadow other generations. In comparison, the company’s survey of consumers from every generation found 89 percent reported they believe it is important to support the small businesses in their community because of the pandemic’s impact.
To further the message of shopping small during the duration of the critical holiday season, American Express has announced three new initiatives around Small Business Saturday. These initiatives include a partnership with Google to roll-out shoppable murals nationwide to leverage Google Lens technology, a pop-up in Los Angeles to support Black-owned merchants and an online marketplace powered by Showfields called ByBlack, and an inclusive $1.65 million grant program called “Inclusive Backing” designed to provide small businesses with support both proactively and in response to needs.
According to findings from the company’s 2021 Shop Small Impact study, new challenges where small businesses need support now include concern about having enough inventory (58 percent), worry about losing customers if they do not find the product they are seeking (56 percent) and the impact that holiday sales will have on their 2022 business (78 percent).
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