Consumers are happy to give their custom to small business, with three times as many saying they would choose a small business for goods or services than a large business if price and convenience were equal.
A study from AXA Business Insurance found that consumers are happy to pay around 5% more when buying from a small business.
Those choosing to shop at smaller businesses said they do so because of superior customer service, with most saying small businesses offer the opportunity to deal with a ‘real person’.
Consumers also consider small businesses three times as likely to provide quality services or products, and four times as likely to treat their staff well.
However, more than half of consumers admitted that ‘none’ or ‘a very small amount’ of their shopping is bought from small businesses.
Longer opening hours topped the list of reasons to shop at bigger businesses, with price coming second.
Darrell Sansom, Managing Director of AXA Business Insurance, said “We know that the last few years have been a tough environment for pretty much all businesses and it seems that possibly consumers have turned to bigger providers during this time. However, we know that SMEs are much more optimistic about the future than they were a year ago and we hope that this will be reflected in the growth of their businesses.”