Small Business Saturday sales take a slight dip

Getty Images | Boston Globe

After several years of growth, Small Business Saturday saw a dip in both foot traffic and overall dollars spent in 2017.

The American Express-sponsored shopping holiday, now in its eighth year, saw 108 million shoppers spend $12.9 billion on Nov. 25 at independently owned businesses. That is down from 112 million shoppers spending more than $15 billion in 2016. American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business released the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey Monday, reporting that four in 10, or 43 percent of American adults either shopped or dined small on the day.

The data show that 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday, and 58 percent said they shopped or dined at more than one independently owned business this weekend. What's more, support for small businesses went beyond brick-and-mortar with 35 percent saying they shopped online.

There were also more than 7,200 "neighborhood champions," which include associations, chambers of commerce and community organizers across the country engaging more than 2 million small businesses nationwide. The most popular reason for shopping small was to support local community, according to 64 percent of respondents.

A state-by-state breakout shows the most popular small businesses visited on the day were restaurants, bars and pubs (41 percent), followed by clothing and accessories stores (24 percent), food stores (23 percent) and coffee shops (22 percent).

Stores visited also varied greatly by location on Small Business Saturday, compared to the national average. In California, the most-visited small businesses were plant stores and nurseries, in Texas shoppers went to spas and hair and nail salons, and in New York, small bakeries were the most popular for shoppers.

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