New Survey Predicts Dismal Outlook for Mom and Pop Shops for the Holidays

October 20, 2020 by Sara Wilkerson

A new survey released from Alignable, the country’s largest online referral network for small businesses, shows 45% of consumers shifted from shopping at local businesses to purchasing goods from national, online retailers when they were most concerned about COVID. The survey also showed that 68% of Americans have no plans to spend more money with local businesses for the rest of the year, spelling potential catastrophe for the holiday season. Nearly 6,000 consumers were surveyed for the poll. 

Alignable’s Consumer Confidence poll, conducted October 10-14, found that 52% of consumers said they do not expect to change their purchasing plans in time for the holidays. Additionally, another 16% of consumers said they plan to actually increase their spending with national retailers rather than shop locally. 

“Even in a good economy, many retailers count on Q4 sales to make up for the rest of the year,” said Alignable CEO and Co-Founder Eric Groves. “But COVID safety concerns still loom large for many consumers, which, sadly, could turn 2020’s holiday shopping season into the worst one in years for local retailers.” 

Long lines, adherence to CDC guidance and a lack of spending money are among the top concerns for consumers when it comes to shopping locally. 

This month’s polling data falls in line with previous data from Alignable showing an overall downgrade in the state of small business. 

According to a September trend tracker report from Alignable, 45% of small business owners predict that they will not make enough revenue to stay in business towards the end of year. 

On a more positive note, the research center found that 32% of consumers expect to shop more locally by the end of the year. 

“While that’s encouraging news, only 11% said they’d spend significantly more,” noted the research center’s report. 

To help small businesses stay afloat, Alignable asked consumers what could help them shift their spending from national retailers to local merchants. 

As the top answer, 34% of respondents said that knowing the money they spend locally will help their communities and local merchants recover could shift their spending habits. 

In response to this, Alignable said, “Unfortunately, many consumers don’t realize that the more money they spend with local merchants, the faster their community will recover, enhancing their quality of life.” 

Alignable went on to state that campaigns like #ShopLocal as well as the research center’s #MyMoneyStaysLocal are designed to help inform consumers about how important their spending power is in helping their local communities. 

The second most popular answer, among 16% of those surveyed, said that they’d shift their spending habits if local businesses mandate that customers adhere to mask wearing and social distancing while shopping. 

“Educating consumers about the economic benefits of shopping locally, and encouraging even more merchants to follow stringent safety guidelines are two important steps to combat the trends we’re seeing,” commented Groves. 

“But more has to happen and soon. That’s why we’re calling on everyone to urge Congress to break the stimulus stalemate and provide more money to businesses most in need, especially small, independent retailers,” added Groves. 

“Time’s running out for many of them,” he concluded. 

Economy

Congress Seeks to Avert a Government Shutdown as Trump Seethes
Congress
Congress Seeks to Avert a Government Shutdown as Trump Seethes

Congress returned Monday from its Thanksgiving break hoping to avoid a government shutdown looming at the end of next week — with President Donald Trump being a potential wild card. Hopes for a new coronavirus stimulus package are slim as lawmakers focus on the more limited goal of keeping the government... Read More

Yellen Officially Gets Treasury Nod, Biden Econ Team Manifests Diversity
Economy
Yellen Officially Gets Treasury Nod, Biden Econ Team Manifests Diversity
November 30, 2020
by Dan McCue

WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced his senior economic team, confirming after a week of speculation, that he would nominate Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, to be the first woman to head the Treasury Department, In a statement, Biden said he... Read More

Black Friday Offers Beacon of Hope to Struggling Stores
Economy
Black Friday Offers Beacon of Hope to Struggling Stores

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their... Read More

Rep. Neal Eyes Massive Coronavirus Relief, Climate and Infrastructure Package
Congress
Rep. Neal Eyes Massive Coronavirus Relief, Climate and Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON — House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal's attitude toward legislating under a Democratic-led White House might aptly be described as "never let a crisis go to waste." The Massachusetts Democrat wants to take a page from his party's 2009 playbook, when the Obama administration took office amid the wreckage of... Read More

Mnuchin to Put $455 Billion in Funds Out of Yellen's Easy Reach
Economy
Mnuchin to Put $455 Billion in Funds Out of Yellen's Easy Reach

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will put $455 billion in unspent Cares Act funding into an account that his presumed successor, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, will need authorization from Congress to use. Mnuchin plans to place the money into the agency's General Fund, a Treasury Department spokesperson said Tuesday. That fund... Read More

Stabenow Says Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill Better Than Nothing
Economy
Stabenow Says Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill Better Than Nothing

WASHINGTON — A top Senate Democrat said Tuesday that she's engaged in bipartisan discussions on COVID-19 aid and urged quick action even if that means "a short-term package for the next few months." "We need to act," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D- Mich., the fourth-ranking Democrat in that chamber... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top