‘Majority shoppers believe it is important to support local businesses’

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A vast majority of shoppers believe it is important to support other local, independent businesses, stated a recent report, adding that most actively promote small businesses local to them.

New research by American Express shows the incredible camaraderie and resilience that exists among small business owners in the face of ongoing challenges. The study claims that a vast majority (90 per cent) agreed it was important to support other local, independent businesses, with 85 per cent saying they actively promote other suppliers and small businesses local to them. A similar number (83 per cent) said they always tried to work with these suppliers where possible.

Recognising the vital contribution their businesses make locally and the need to support fellow entrepreneurs, three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) agreed there was a strong sense of community among small businesses in their local area.

While over half (56 per cent) of these small business owners said the next outlook for their business over the next six months would be “challenging”, over a third (36 per cent) said they were “optimistic” and one quarter (27 per cent) “excited”.

Dan Edelman, general manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: “Our research offers further proof of how community-focused and generous of spirit small business owners are. They are facing hugely challenging times but appreciate and support the valuable contribution their fellow entrepreneurs make. We’re proud to continue championing them with the return of our Shop Small campaign and Offer, available at more locations than ever before this winter, as well as through our long-standing support of Small Business Saturday on 3 December.”

Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday UK, added: “While small businesses are undoubtedly facing a host of challenges currently, this research underlines that being an entrepreneur is also still a hugely fulfilling thing to do and the UK is still a great place to start your own business. The strength of collaboration bubbling away across the small business community is a big reason for this. But as well as support from each other, business owners need support from everyone around them, including the public.”