By Ryan Velez
Everyone is trying to figure out how exactly to court millennials, as they slowly shift towards being the world’s dominant consumer force as they get older. Some attempts have caught fire, others have just been cringe-worthy. However, Black Enterprise is reporting that when it comes to small businesses, millennials are proving to be a great asset.
About half of millennials (ages 16 to 34) are willing to pay more to support a small business versus 38% of Gen X respondents (ages 35 to 49) and 42% of baby boomer respondents (ages 50 to 75), a 2017 survey by AT&T shows. And while 59% of millennials have never worked for a small business, they are the generation most likely to spend more money to support a small business.
As a part of their survey, AT&T recently surveyed 5,000 respondents to learn more about consumers’ attitudes on small business and why they “shop small.” The finding comes as the millennials carry big-time economic clout. Oracle expects their spending power to strike $3.39 trillion this year.
However, when it comes to millennial interest, the type of business you run may make the difference. Restaurants had the most support (58%) then retail stores (40%), followed by medical offices, hair salons, and coffee shops, all with 35% each. Some 90% of all respondents reported they shop at small businesses at least once a month and nearly half shop at a small business weekly. Another driving force was a desire to shop locally. Forty-eight percent reported they want to support local employment, while 47% say they want to keep money local as top reasons to shop at a small business.
Want to get involved in some of this action? The survey shows that you may want to start by investing in your tech. Twenty-three percent of respondents want Wi-Fi available from a small business, while 10% want mobile payment options. This is more accessible than ever, so it makes a worthy investment even if you’re on the fence.
56% of all respondents feel more favorable about large companies that support small businesses. So, if you’re a major company looking for PR boost, helping out the little guy may also be helping yourself.