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Small Business Owners Buy Local, Too

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 5/6/2013

American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor reports that the majority of small business owners purchase and source products from other small businesses.

The push to buy local has become a mantra for small businesses across the nation. But a new report by the America Express OPEN Small Business Monitor shows that buying local isn't just talk--entrepreneurs overwhelmingly practice what they preach and buy from other local, small businesses.

Do Businesses Buy Local?

The report showed that 70 percent of entrepreneurs purchase and source goods and services from other small businesses. Nearly all entrepreneurs (96%) are committed to supporting their local communities in other important ways including donations to local charities (70%), participation in community projects (49%) and shopping at small, local companies for non-business purchases (83%).

"We should all draw inspiration from small businesses that remain steadfast optimists and loyal contributors to local communities and causes despite an economic environment that remains uncertain," said Susan Sobbott president of American Express OPEN. "Adversity is nothing new to the vast majority of entrepreneurs, and our research shows that while they have concerns about the near future, they have learned a great deal from recent trials and are better positioned to grow in the long term."

Why do customers buy local? To succeed in their communities, entrepreneurs need to understand the motivations and concerns that drive local buying behaviors. In general, consumers support local small businesses for three reasons: community support, convenience and more personal service.

By focusing on these three characteristics, local entrepreneurs can improve their ability to connect with consumers and build a sustainable, local business. The findings of the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor report show that small business owners are not only taking these business traits to heart, but are also incorporating them into their personal spending patterns.

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