Why we all should “Shop Small” and “Local”  this holiday season

Shopping Small this holiday season can have a profound impact on Small Businesses. According to the American Express Shop Small Impact study, consumers shopping small this holiday season have the potential to contribute an estimated $695B into the U.S. small business economy.

As we all know, the pandemic has impacted many aspects of life, including the holidays. For Small Businesses, they’ve struggled with financial instability, supply chain issues and labor shortages across a range of industries. According to the American Express Shop Small impact survey:

  • 78% of small business merchants say that holiday sales will impact their ability to stay in business in 2022.
  • 69% of consumers say their holiday traditions were disrupted last year by the pandemic and 61% agree they are looking forward to starting new holiday traditions this year.
  • 89% of consutmers say it is important to support the small businesses in their community because of the impact the pandemic has had on them.
  • Over half of SBOs report having inventory difficulties.  45% say they can get what they need but it is taking longer, while another 10% report they are struggling to maintain adequate inventory for their customers.

With that, the same study found that 80% of consumers say they are likely to shop small this holiday season. Small businesses owners are hopeful that their communities will show up for them.

To help urge this message of shopping small this entire holiday season, American Express is announcing new initiatives this Small Business Saturday to support small businesses at a crucial time. Based on the needs of small businesses right now, American Express’ initiatives include:

  • A partnership with Google to roll-out shoppable murals nationwide leveraging Google Lens technology.
  • A pop-up shop in LA to support Black-owned local merchants and an online marketplace powered by Showfields.
  • Unveiling ‘Backing Small’, a $1.65M, always-on inclusive grant program designed to provide small businesses with support both proactively and in response to their needs.

If people are not yet convinced, there’s this: Consumers spent heavily in support of local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating the “buy local” trend that had long been gaining traction across the retail landscape. More than half of Americans — 51% — sought to shop more at small and locally owned businesses during the pandemic, according to a NerdWallet survey conducted online by The Harris Poll.

Consumers surveyed cited several reasons for supporting local businesses, including 53% who said they did not want to see  local shops go out of business, and the sense that small, local businesses shared their values. The research also found that the trend has staying power, with 40% of Americans saying they are still making an increased effort to shop at small and locally owned businesses.


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