By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More Americans than ever say they will spend money at a small neighborhood business on Small Business Saturday.

It’s the twelfth year of Small Business Saturday, first started by American Express after the great recession of 2008. A recent survey shows that it’s catching on, with almost half of American consumers saying they will spend money at a local small business on Saturday.

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A LendingTree survey of over 2,000 consumers found that 49 percent of Americans plan to shop at a neighborhood store this Small Business Saturday.

Shop small is the theme and local neighborhood chambers of commerce like the one on the South Side have done promotional efforts to encourage customers to shop local.

The survey found that Americans on average will spend $305 at small businesses.

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The pandemic has really hurt small businesses with nearly two out of three Americans saying they know a small business in their community that has closed its doors over the last 18 months.

The pandemic has spurred a growing loyalty to local small shops with 63 percent of Americans saying they feel more loyal to small businesses that have survived than ever.

Guess who feels the most love for small businesses? Millennials, those between ages 25 and 40, at 70 percent. Those with the least love? Baby boomers, age 56 to 75, at 52 percent.

A growing number of Americans, 22 percent, say they intentionally also shop at more minority-owned businesses than before the pandemic, and the younger the shopper, the more likely they will do this.

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When it comes to small businesses, consumers prefer to shop in person and that makes good sense because you can walk out with an often unique product without worrying about supply chain or shipping issues. And shopping small at those mom and pop stores in your neighborhood really does keep money in the community.