Shop local

Florencia Pizza Bistro owner Val Yemetz works on making Speciality pizza a "Stefanos" made up of, feta cheese, spinach, calamata olives, onions, tomatoes. Vemetz has become sort of an advocate of shopping local and supporting the local economy. Nov 22, 2011. Darryl Webb/AFN

Small Business Saturday is gaining in popularity, according to a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

In the second installment of the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insight Survey, released by NFIB and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped from 67 percent to 71 percent across the U.S. Of those that are aware, 46 percent said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.

“This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6 percent from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012,” the NFIB reported.

The survey was conducted among a sample of 1,000 males and females 18 years or older. It was an online survey conducted anonymously by Redshift Research between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.47 percent, at the 95 percent level of confidence.

“In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN, in a statement. “On Nov. 30, we saw a continuation of this growing trend as communities around the country came together to celebrate local businesses and helped drive consumers to Shop Small on the day.”

Small Business Saturday was championed by elected officials across the U.S., including President Barack Obama. More than 346,000 free online tools and materials were accessed by small business owners to help get the word out about Small Business Saturday and in November alone, more than 352,000 tweets were sent in support of Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is held each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It’s a national effort to encourage the community to shop locally.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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