EFFINGHAM — In spite of a shorter shopping season and challenging economic environment, Small Business Saturday helped jump start the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the country.
According to the second installment of the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released Monday by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday across the U.S. jumped to 71 percent from 67 percent during the same period a year ago. Of those aware, 46 percent said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.
With awareness up, the end result was increased spending at small businesses. This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6 percent from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012.
"In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition," said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. "On Nov. 30, we saw a continuation of this growing trend as communities around the country came together to celebrate local businesses and helped drive consumers to Shop Small on the day."
For a story on Effingham merchants that participated, see Monday's print edition.