Survey shows US small business owners more optimistic this holiday season

About 85% of consumers agree that spending money on Christmas shopping from a small business is “money well spent”. One in three Californians plan to spend 50-70% of their vacation budget on small businesses.

LOS ANGELES – Despite ongoing concerns about inflation, US small business owners are optimistic about the future and feel willing to adjust as necessary to meet the needs of their customers. Small businesses that have prioritized digital technology capabilities and increased their social media presence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen their businesses grow, according to new research from Union Bank, a leading West Coast bank.

The Union Bank Small Business Holiday Spending 2022 Survey shows that most small business owners are evolving their businesses to keep up with changing consumer expectations and demands. Most notably, half of small business owners in the US have added third-party payment systems and half of small business owners in California have added online ordering. On the social media front, more than half of small business owners in the US said they believe their increased social media presence has resulted in increased sales, customers and overall business growth.

According to the survey, the holiday season at the end of the year should result in increased sales for many small businesses. The survey results show that 85% of consumers agree that spending money on Christmas shopping from a small business is “money well spent”. One in three Californians plan to spend 50-70% of their vacation budget on small businesses.

“Today’s economic environment has motivated small business owners to adapt and develop their skills to maximize earnings potential this holiday season. More than ever, small businesses need to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and continue to be creative in how they evolve and adapt to meet consumer expectations,” said Todd Hollander, Head of Business Banking, Small Business Administration and Small Business, Union Bank.

Consumers are increasingly seeing and feeling the impact of labor shortages on the overall shopping experience, leading more and more of them to buy the products they need online, according to the survey results. The current business landscape is an opportunity for small business owners to stay flexible and implement acquisition strategies that will help meet changing consumer expectations, economic uncertainties and intense competition.

“When we started our business we were very focused on making beautiful, well-crafted stationery by hand and offering our customers a very personal shopping experience. But we’ve been successful in growing and diversifying our business, not only adding an online shopping experience, but also diversifying the channels we use to reach our different customer segments where they shop. This strategy has served us well during the pandemic and beyond,” said Chelsea Shukov, Founder and Creative Director of Sugar Paper.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and economic concerns impacted the day-to-day operations of small businesses across the United States, many small business owners have focused on finding solutions that meet the expectations and needs of the modern consumer who relies on digital tools.

“Our business is my family’s legacy,” said Emmanuel Rodriguez, owner of Baker’s Bodega Express. “The pandemic forced us to find creative ways to stay open, preserve jobs and continue to grow our business. This meant we had to modernize our approach to our wholesale bakery business by creating an e-commerce platform and we are now expanding our social media strategy to promote our products, reach new customers and stay relevant.”

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