Personal Finance

49% of consumers plan to shop Small Business Saturday. These tips can help

Key Points
  • Americans are expected to spend an average of $305 per person at small businesses this holiday weekend.
  • That's good news for independent businesses, including those still struggling to recover amid the pandemic.
  • If you want to support your local small businesses, these tips can help.
A sign reading "Shop Local" with closed restaurants and shops on Main Street on April 10, 2020 in Livingston, Montana.
William Campbell | Getty Images

While Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the Thanksgiving weekend, about half of American consumers are expected to turn out for Small Business Saturday.

A survey from LendingTree found that 49% plan to hit the stores this Saturday, and are estimated to spend an average of $305 each.

That's compared to the $800 to $1,000 that consumers are expected to shell out this season overall, according to Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.

The survey found 63% of consumers say the pandemic strengthened their loyalty to small businesses. Meanwhile, the same number — 63% — say they saw a small business in their community permanently close due to the health crisis.

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Holiday shopping is expected to pick up this year compared to last, according to the National Retail Federation. In a survey, the retail trade association found 58.1 million people plan to shop on Small Business Saturday.

Still, the most buyers are expected to turn out on Black Friday, with 108 million, while Cyber Monday is expected to draw 62.8 million, NRF's survey found.

"It's really important for folks to step up and help their neighbor and help their local business to survive, because it really does matter," Schulz said.

"Even just spending a little bit of money there can really make a difference for these folks," he said.

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These tips can help you support your local businesses:

  • Shop small businesses online. While most Small Business Saturday shoppers are expected to make their purchases in person, you can also support small business owners by shopping online or on sites like Etsy.
  • Buy gift cards. You can also gift purchases for local area services through gift cards.
  • Schedule weekly takeout meals. Having a "Takeout Tuesday" or "Takeout Thursday" can help your local restaurants. "Even just a $25, $30 lunch order for a family done repeatedly by a lot of people can make a difference," Schulz said.
  • Resist the temptation to go over budget. "As good as it can feel to support a small business, you don't need to overspend to where you're making things difficult on yourself," Schulz said.