Despite the influence of big-box chains, consumers remain loyal to locally-owned stores. In fact, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse 2011, 93 percent of Americans believe it is important to support local small businesses in their communities.
On Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, and throughout the year, Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to start with local service providers, shops and boutiques:
- Go for a walk or drive to explore neighborhood businesses.
- Search BBB's Accredited Business Directory; limit results by zip code.
- Check with local Chambers of Commerce or other for-business organizations.
- Seek suggestions from associates, friends and family members on social media sites.
- Utilize location-based websites or merchant maps on mobile devices.
- Comb daily deal sites and coupon book promotions.
- Find out where to shop at Shopsmall.com.
As an added bonus, community-based businesses are usually interested in building relationships with customers and being responsive if issues arise. Plus, in-person purchases are usually free of delivery issues and shipping charges.