The statistics are coming in on the string of big shopping days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday – and the smallest kid on the block did well.

An estimated four in 10 people (43 percent) of American adults shopped or dined “small” on the eighth annual Small Business Saturday. Consumers also showed their love for online small businesses on the day.

According to data from the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey released Monday by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently owned businesses.

“Year after year, Small Business Saturday receives remarkable support from shoppers and communities nationwide,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, executive vice president of Global Advertising and Media at American Express. “In year eight, it’s encouraging to see Small Business Saturday continue to gain momentum as more people recognize the benefits that independently owned businesses bring to their neighborhoods — and our country as a whole.”

The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey also found that 70 percent of U.S consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday. In addition to support on main streets, shoppers turned out for online small businesses – with 35 percent reporting they Shopped Small online on Nov. 25 alone.

The 2017 Small Business Saturday 50-State Survey, also released Monday by the NFIB and American Express, showed 73 percent of consumers who reportedly Shopped Small at independently owned retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday did so with friends or family. The most reported reason for consumers aware of the day to shop and dine at small, independently owned businesses was to support their community (64 percent).

Further insights from the 2017 Small Business Saturday 50-State Survey include:

• Shoppers made Small Business Saturday an all-day affair, as 58 percent of those who participated in the day reported shopping or dining at more than one small, independently owned retailer or restaurant.

• On a national level, nearly half (48 percent) of consumers who participated in Small Business Saturday reported visiting a small business that they had not previously been to on Small Business Saturday.

• Relative to the national average, shoppers in Colorado, Hawaii and Vermont reported pet stores as the type of small business frequented the most, while shoppers in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York reported visiting a bakery the most. Shoppers in Georgia, Idaho and Texas reported visiting spas, nail salons or hair salons the most.

In South Carolina, the survey found 21 percent of people made their favorite Small Business Saturday purchase at a restaurant or bar. Clothing and accessory businesses accounted for 12 percent of favorite purchases, with gift/variety stores getting 10 percent.

Nearly a third of South Carolinians (31 percent) see restaurants and bars as the small businesses most associated with their communities, with 27 percent listing the businesses they wish their community had more of as restaurants and bars.

As much as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are closely watched for trends regarding total consumer spending and the breakdown of in-store vs. online buying, Small Business Saturday has found a niche – on the street and in cyberspace. By most any measure, that’s a good thing.

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