We love to love the idea of shopping small, but most of the time, our wallets are somewhere else.
A recent Gallup survey shows we have strong affinity for small businesses... and are highly skeptical of bigger businesses.
Currently, 70 percent of Americans have confidence in small businesses (tying a record high) compared to just 21 percent who feel the same of large companies.
While it's off of the all-time low of 16 percent during the Great Recession, it's clear that small businesses are held in much higher regard.
However, consumer behavior, attitude and action is not always as straight forward.
For example, when big business offer lower costs and higher efficiency, it's hard for customers to resist... regardless of their preference for small business. Customers may, in theory, prefer Main Street small businesses to Walmart -- but when Walmart has appeared in local communities, it has almost always won out.
Likewise, virtual marketplaces like Amazon are crushing many small businesses that can't compete with online presence and low prices.
Regardless, small business owners themselves predict a successful future. In a separate Gallup survey, owners are shown to have increasing expectations of success looking into the future:
If you really do prefer to shop small, this would be a good time to put small businesses back on your radar. After all, we, the consumer, are more or less the deciding factor of their economic outcome...