Customers trust and use local businesses, and even prefer them to national chains, according to a report by AMAC Small Business Solutions.

More than eight in 10 consumers (82 percent) currently use local businesses, and in the next year, 48 percent plan to patronize local businesses even more often. (Fewer than 1 percent expect to use local businesses less often.) In fact, consumers use local businesses more often than national chains. In the last 12 months, local businesses accounted for 56 percent of total business use, compared to 44 percent for national chains. Consumers also use local businesses a lot 83 percent of respondents have done so in the last week.

Consumers aren't turning to local businesses out of necessity, but out of preference. The survey asked respondents to judge whether local businesses or big businesses have each of the following qualities.

  • People said local businesses offer:
  • More personalized service: 96%
  • Being trustworthy/treating me fairly: 91%
  • Customer service: 80%
  • Delivering quality work: 86%
  • Being reliable/delivering what's promised: 79%
  • Having professional staff: 75%