(Cox is No. 18 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list)
An overwhelming number of Americans visit a local small business at least once a week with slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) patronizing small businesses twice a week. According to the 2017 Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses, only eight percent of survey respondents don't visit any type of small business in an average week.
Consumers may have a stronger sense of familiarity with the small business owners and employees who work in those businesses, according to the findings. However, survey respondents selected local support and convenience as the top reasons they go the "Main Street" route. When selecting their top three reasons for shopping and supporting small, the run-down ranked as follows:
- Local support – 67 percent
- Convenience – 63 percent
- Greater customer service (than a large business) – 50 percent
- Familiarity between respondents and small business owner/employees – 45 percent
When it comes to shopping small, the price apparently doesn't have to be right as only 14 percent of respondents said "more competitive pricing" was a top reason for supporting small business.
Both local and federal government agencies can do more to promote small business growth in their communities, according to most survey respondents. An overwhelming number of respondents (82 percent) feel the federal government falls short in this area. Two-thirds of respondents feel local government agencies do not do enough to promote small business growth in their communities either.
Consumers would overwhelmingly continue to support a small business owner if he or she voted differently than them. Only 16 percent of respondents would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner voted differently from them. At the same time, 35 percent of consumers would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner was vocal on social media about his/her political leanings or preferred candidate.
"These survey findings show that Americans are overwhelmingly united in their support of small businesses regardless of the so-called things that divide us," said Steve Rowley, executive vice president of Cox Business. "Most consumers want to do their part in supporting the American workforce and economy and understand their collective patronage of these establishments is a key component of building stronger communities."
Follow @CoxBusiness on Twitter and join the conversation using #GoSmall to share the results with your network.