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Survey: Consumers willing to support local businesses by spending, visiting more

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More than 65% of Americans visit their local Main Street at least a few times a month.

Americans want to see their local small businesses thrive — and are willing to spend more to do so.

Consumers reported that they are willing to spend nearly $2,000 more in 2024 if it means their favorite local shops will continue to thrive, according to research commissioned by online marketplace Faire. Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, Americans are personally willing to spend an extra $150 a month on average to make sure their local shops survive.

More than 65% of Americans visit their local Main Street at least a few times a month, and nearly 75% feel “sad, worried, guilty or angry” when their local shops shut down. Despite the impacts of inflation and the aftermath of the pandemic in recent years, Faire found that nearly 80% of consumers report that their Main Street is stable or growing compared to 2019.

Nearly 75% of Americans surveyed stated that the pandemic made them appreciate their local shops more than they did before. Consumers located in suburban areas have become increasingly passionate about contributing to their local economies, with over 70% citing this contribution as the primary reason they choose to shop at local shops on their Main Street.

Younger age cohorts (Gen Z and millennials) are the most passionate about seeing their Main Streets thrive. All (100%) Gen Z respondents and 96% of millennials reported they would take action to help their local businesses. These actions include 70% of Gen Z and 69% of millennials being willing to shop locally more often, and 60% of millennials and 59% of Gen Z being willing to encourage family and friends to support local businesses. Nearly 55% of both Gen Z and millennials are willing to do their holiday shopping at local businesses.

"We’ve always believed in the power of independent retail," said Faire co-founder and CEO Max Rhodes. "These shop owners play an incredibly important role in what makes a city or town feel unique. Their superpowers of curation, agility, and community building have successfully met a growing consumer demand for connection and values-driven shopping. By leaning into these advantages, they continue to increase market share.”

In a separate survey run by Faire to its customer base, independent retailers reported noticing increased support. Nearly 85% stated they feel supported by their communities, and nearly 90% agreed that local shops receive more local support than big box stores in their neighborhoods. Nearly 90% of Faire retailers reported they are focused on personalized customer service and curated product selections.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in 2023, small businesses represented nearly 44% of America’s gross domestic product, and employed nearly half of the country’s labor pool.

“Small businesses are the fabric of our communities and the backbone of our economy,” said Tom Sullivan, VP of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Main Streets thrive when brick-and-mortar retailers lean into their smallness to create a close-knit, supportive atmosphere for their employees, their customers, and their community.”

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