Last week, Gallup had good news for small businesses. According to an annual poll carried out in June, Americans have an increasing amount of confidence in small businesses. In fact, Americans are more than three times as likely to show confidence in small businesses as they are in big businesses.
When polled, 67 percent of U.S. adults report having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in small businesses. To contrast, just 21 percent have that same confidence in big businesses. What’s more, this trend has held steady for more than 20 years, at least. Gallup began asking about Americans’ confidence in small businesses in 1998, at which point 63 percent of Americans reported high confidence. That same year, just 30 percent of Americans reported similar confidence in big businesses. The numbers have fluctuated slightly ever since, but ultimately, Americans have also shown far more confidence in small businesses than large ones.
In fact, small business is one of the most beloved institutions in the country, according to Gallup’s research. Each year, Gallup surveys Americans’ confidence in 15 institutions, including Congress, banks, small business and the military. This year, Americans reported lower-than-average confidence in all institutions other than small business and the military. Confidence in Congress, for instance, has fallen to eight percent, 16 points below the historical average of 24 percent. Confidence in small business, on the other hand, sits at four points above the historical average of 63 percent.
Gallup suggests that Americans’ high confidence in small businesses could come from their commitment to local communities. Small businesses create local jobs and make decisions based on local conditions, rather than the national structures and plans that big businesses must adhere to.
Gallup’s report comes as potentially more Americans are shopping small than ever before. In 2014, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express found that 94 percent of Americans say that shopping at a small business makes them “feel good.” American Express’s Small Business Saturday campaign grows year after year. Most recently, in 2014, 88 million consumers shopped at a small business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, an increase of nearly 15 percent from 2013’s numbers.
Americans continue to demonstrate an increasing desire to shop local and high confidence in small businesses. The latest numbers from Gallup are a win for small businesses, but also for the local communities, local workers and local consumers who rely on them.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.