When it comes down to it, we expect small businesses to take their own advice to “shop locally.” While many of us are guilty of shopping at large retailers, who else can we count on but small businesses to stick to their guns and support local enterprise?

A small business survey conducted by American Express OPEN revealed that small business owners really do practice what they preach. It found that…

  • 70% of small business owners source materials and services from other small businesses in the operation of their own businesses

What about after hours—do small business owners remain steadfast to their principles after they’ve clocked out? It turns out that when the shop is closed they’re even more locally conscious:

  • 83% of small business owners shop at independently owned businesses in their neighborhood for purchases unrelated to business

Not only do the majority of these entrepreneurs support one another, almost all—96%—of small businesses support their local community in some way. For example:

  • 70% donate to local causes
  • 49% participate in community projects

This dedication to investing in the community and sourcing oft-more expensive materials from local stores is even more inspiring in light of the fact that only 54% of small businesses remain optimistic about their business prospects this year, and their concerns about cash flow are rising.

In spite of all their worries, 94% of small business owners are happy with their lives overall, and 76% of those respondents said their happiness is due at least in part to their entrepreneurship. In fact, when asked if they would recommend entrepreneurship to a loved one, significantly more small business owners (+11%) said “yes” than those who were polled in the previous survey.

It sounds like small business owners, in spite of tough times, remain thoroughly convinced of one thing: Small business is good. Good for the owner, for other businesses and for the community overall.

Source: American Express Open