In a survey released last month by WebVisible, an online marketing services provider that works primarily with small and midsize companies, 4 out of 5 respondents said they regularly patronize small, independent businesses over larger chains. Their top three motivations: to support their communities, for travel convenience, and for the personalized service, says Kirsten Mangers, WebVisible's chief executive officer.
Just 17 percent of survey respondents said they don't choose small businesses over larger chains. "We automatically assume that if shoppers are going into a national-brand chain store, it's because they get economies of scale" and lower prices, Mangers says. "But we're finding the perception is that by transacting with a local merchant, you'll save time and money at the end of the day."
Raymond J. Keating
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council