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More Americans plan to 'shop small' today

Consumers say they will be out in full force today for Small Business Saturday, to support the small businesses that fuel the U.S. economy, create jobs and keep communities thriving.

Of the tens of millions of Americans familiar with Small Business Saturday, 67 percent are planning to “shop small” (44 oercent said they shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2011), according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. The new research, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, shows that of those consumers who shopped last year on Small Business Saturday, 70 percent plan to spend more or the same amount this year and will spend on average $100 on Small Business Saturday.

Thousands of small businesses around the country are planning special offers, partnering with neighboring businesses, and hosting events to support the small business shopping day. Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

“Small Business Saturday has become the ceremonial kick-off to the holiday shopping season for small business owners across the country,” said Susan Sobbott, president at American Express OPEN. “Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity to harness the nation’s enthusiasm for small business and celebrate their impact on local communities and the national economy.”

“America’s small businesses contribute to their communities in innumerable ways—creating half of private sector jobs, generating the revenue that spurs continued growth, and supporting the families they employ; it’s no surprise that American consumers have a deep trust in, and admiration for, the small-business community,” said NFIB CEO Dan Danner.“Small Business Saturday gives us a chance to show our appreciation and to help America’s job creators in a very real way, by patronizing small shops, restaurants and service providers. Anything that helps with sales is certainly appreciated by small-business owners, many of whom have struggled to stay afloat in a rough and uncertain economy.”

One reason for the success of Small Business Saturday has been that many community groups and small businesses have taken ownership of the day. According to the first installment of the Small Business Saturday Insights survey, released earlier this month by NFIB and American Express, of the small business owners planning to leverage Small Business Saturday, 81 percent said Small Business Saturday would be more effective if their communities came together and hosted events.

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