An overwhelming number of Americans visit a local small business at least once a week, with slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) patronizing small businesses twice a week. According to the 2017 Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses report, only 8 percent of survey respondents don’t visit any type of small business in an average week.

Consumers may have a stronger sense of familiarity with the small business owners and employees who work in those businesses, according to the findings. However, survey respondents selected local support and convenience as the top reasons they go the “Main Street” route.

When selecting their top three reasons for shopping and supporting small, the run-down ranked as follows:

» Local support — 67 percent

» Convenience — 63 percent

» Greater customer service (than a large business) — 50 percent

» Familiarity between respondents and small business owner/employees — 45 percent

When it comes to shopping small, the price apparently doesn’t have to be right as only 14 percent of respondents said “more competitive pricing” was a top reason for supporting small business.

Both local and federal government agencies can do more to promote small business growth in their communities, according to most survey respondents.

An overwhelming number of respondents (82 percent) feel the federal government falls short in this area. Two-thirds of respondents feel local government agencies do not do enough to promote small business growth in their communities either.

Consumers would overwhelmingly continue to support a small business owner if he or she voted differently than them. Only 16 percent of respondents would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner voted differently from them.

At the same time, 35 percent of consumers would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner was vocal on social media about his/her political leanings or preferred candidate.

“These survey findings show that Americans are overwhelmingly united in their support of small businesses regardless of the so-called things that divide us,” said Steve Rowley, executive vice president of Cox Business.

“Most consumers want to do their part in supporting the American workforce and economy, and understand their collective patronage of these establishments is a key component of building stronger communities.”

Click here for more details on the 2017 Cox Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses at CoxBlue, Cox’s social destination for businesses. Follow @CoxBusiness on Twitter and join the conversation using #GoSmall to share the results with your network.

About the 2017 Cox Business Consumer Sentiment Survey on Small Business

Cox Business commissioned a blind survey of American consumers in March 2017. Respondents to the online survey included a total of 1,848 consumers — 308 of whom live in California. These results are specific to California residents.

About Cox Business

The commercial division of Cox Communications, Cox Business provides voice, data and video services for more than 300,000 small and regional businesses nationwide, including health-care providers, K-12 and higher education, financial institutions and federal, state and local government organizations.

The organization also serves most of the top-tier wireless and wireline telecommunications carriers in the United States through its wholesale division.

Cox Business is consistently ranked as one of the top Ethernet providers and recognized by third parties for award-winning business telecom service. Click here for more information.