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Press Release

2022 ICSC Small Business Consumer Survey Results

May 2, 2022

ICSC’s Small Business Consumer Survey Reveals the Ongoing Importance of Small Businesses in the Lives of Consumers and Communities in the U.S.     

The Survey Results Indicate that 94% of All U.S. Adults Shop at Small Businesses

NEW YORK, NY: Today, ICSC released the results of its Small Business Consumer Survey that found that 94% of adults either shop, spend at or use the services of small businesses. Over half of consumers, 54%, are spending at small businesses at least once a week and 42% frequent establishments more now than before the pandemic.   

The survey results showed that 67% of small business shoppers shopped at or used the services of food service and drinking places such as restaurants, coffee shops and bars; 50% shopped at grocery stores and specialty food shops; and 33% shopped at small businesses that primarily sold clothing, footwear and accessories.  

“Small business owners are innovators and creators at their core, delivering the products and services we depend on and making our neighborhoods, towns, and cities more vibrant places to live and work,” said Tom McGee, President & CEO of ICSC. “Every purchase made at these businesses provides these owners with the opportunity to serve the community while also making a difference to local economies.”     

Shoppers who are frequent customers of small businesses are as diversified as the stores themselves. Significantly more Gen X (74%) and Baby Boomers (70%) patronize food service establishments compared to Millennials (65%) and Gen Z (50%). Also, higher shares of Gen Z (46%) shop at clothing stores compared to Millennials (36%), Gen X (31%) and Baby Boomers (29%).

Consumers also have different motivations when deciding where they want to shop. Fifty-two percent of small business shoppers want to keep money local, 49% enjoy the quality of goods and services, 47% enjoy the convenience and 46% prefer the price and value of the products they purchase. By comparison, 63% of large business customers prefer the price and value of products they find at larger stores; 59% of shoppers enjoy the convenience of store locations; and 50% appreciate the larger variety of goods and services.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and make-up 70% of marketplace tenants. They were among the hardest hit during the pandemic but are making a strong comeback based on continued consumer demand,” stated McGee. “Each generation finds value in the products and services offered at these tenants which is why they continue to be a part of our daily lives.” 


The 2022 ICSC Small Business Consumer Survey was conducted online from March 14-16, 2022. The survey represents a demographically representative sample of 1,009 respondents.  

About ICSC

The member organization for industry advancement, ICSC promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather as foundational and vital ingredients of communities and economies.  ICSC produces experiences that create connections and catalyze deals; aggressively advocates to shape public policy; develops high-impact marketing and public relations that influence opinion; provides an enduring platform for professional success; and creates forward-thinking content with actionable insights – all of which drive industry innovation and growth.  For more information, please visit www.ICSC.com.

By Keith Hudson

Director, Public Relations