Small Business Survey: Consumers Appreciate Economic Impact of Buying Local

A local coffee shop is about to take the place of Starbucks in NYC’s Grand Central Station. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is attempting to keep the station unique by integrating more small businesses in place of large nationwide chains. How do consumers feel about small business? And will they go out of their way to support them when possible?

small business

Small Business

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, just 7% said that they support local small businesses such as independent boutiques and restaurants pretty much every day. 34% said they often support local small businesses. 45% said they sometimes support local small businesses. 9% said they rarely support local small businesses. And just 6% said they never support local small businesses.

But local shops and restaurants aren’t the only types of small businesses around anymore. Online shops and businesses have grown in recent years. However, just 5% of respondents said they support small online businesses daily. 20% said they often support small online businesses. 43% said they sometimes support small online businesses. 22% said they rarely support small online businesses. And just 11% said they never support small businesses online. The amount of people supporting local businesses hasn’t changed much since a November 2012 survey, but just 1% of respondents in that survey said that they shopped at small online businesses daily. And just 18% said they supported small online businesses often. So those numbers seem to be increasing a bit more.

Supporting Businesses

In general, 25% of respondents said they will definitely go out of their way to support small businesses whenever possible. 57% said they would go somewhat out of their way to support a small business instead of a large chain. And 19% said they do not go out of their way at all to support small businesses at all.

But sometimes running a small business means dealing with additional costs that don’t worry large corporations as much. And just 10% of overall respondents said they would definitely pay higher prices to support small businesses. 51% said they would pay somewhat higher prices to support small businesses. And 39% said they would not pay more at all to support small businesses.


So why is it that some consumers will choose to support smaller businesses? 56% of overall respondents said that they like supporting small businesses because they feel like it helps their local economy. 53% said they like the personal service they receive from small businesses. 30% feel that small businesses offer items of high quality. 27% said some small businesses offer lower prices. 14% feel there are more options at small businesses. And just 8% of respondents said they don’t prefer small businesses at all.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Art Deco Napier from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on April 7 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.