Black Friday has long been considered the day that kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But before you head for your nearest big-box stores for those irresistible door-buster deals, consider this: There’s another shopping holiday that celebrates shopping small and supporting local businesses that are the backbone of every community.
The first Small Business Saturday took place in 2010, after American Express launched an ad campaign encouraging its customers to consider doing some or all of their holiday shopping at small businesses. Just one year later, President Barack Obama rallied majors, governors and senators from across the country to designate Small Business Saturday as an unofficial holiday.
A decade after Small Business Saturday first took hold, American Express estimates that Americans have spent more than $120 billion at small businesses since the holiday’s creation. There’s no doubt that this “holiday” is now as real and meaningful to Americans as Black Friday.
But every state is different. They all show different levels of support for small businesses — and different types of small businesses that have captured their community’s attention. That’s why we set out to learn more about Small Business Saturday in each state. In honor of the start of this year’s shopping season, celebrate small businesses with these statistics and fun facts about small businesses in all 50 states.
The Most Popular Small Business Type in Every State
States Most Interested in Small Businesses in General
According to Google search data, these are the states where the most people are interested in small businesses in general.
On the other hand, these are the states whose residents search online for small businesses the least.
States Most Interested in Small Business Saturday
Google search data shows these are the states whose residents are most interested in participating in Small Business Saturday.
Then there are the states least interested in Small Business Saturday.
Fun Facts About Small Business in Every State
Want to know more about each state and its relationship with the small businesses that call it home? From our research, we discovered these fun facts about small businesses in each state.
Alabama residents search for local clothing boutiques more than any other state.
Alaska is the state that has the least year-round interest in small businesses.
Arizona residents search for local dive bars more than in any other state.
Arkansas residents love Etsy — in fact, they searched for the platform more than any other types of small businesses.
Californians are passionate about supporting small businesses. They had high numbers of searches across all small business types, but thrift shops, family-owned restaurants, and dive bars had the highest scores.
Colorado registered more searches for family-owned restaurants than any other state.
Connecticut tied for least interested in family-owned restaurants.
Delaware residents love their farmers’ markets. They searched for this small business type nearly twice as much as any other type of small business.
Florida residents searched for “local bars near me” more than anyone else in the U.S.
Georgia residents want to support small businesses, no matter what type — the state had more searches for “small businesses near me” than for any specific type of business.
Hawaii led the nation in searches for both “local restaurants near me” and “farmers’ markets.”
Idahoans love to shop on Etsy. Residents of the state searched for Etsy more than twice as much as they did for any local businesses in their state.
Illinois was the median state in the nation for interest in small businesses overall.
Indiana residents showed the second most interest in local hardware stores in the country.
Beer business is booming in Iowa. The state led the entire nation in searches for local craft breweries.
Kansas is another state that loves its small businesses, but doesn’t have a favorite type. In this state, there were more searches for “small business near me” than there were for any specific type of small business.
Kentucky loves its boutique stores. In the Bluegrass State, most small business-related searches were for either boutique shops, or boutique clothing.
Louisiana showed more interest in boutique shops than any other state.
Maine showed more interest in Etsy than any other state.
In Maryland, craft breweries were the most-searched-for type of small business.
Massachusetts is another state where the beer business is booming — residents here searched for craft breweries more than for any other small business type.
Michigan’s top small business type was family-owned restaurants, which was searched for more often than “local restaurants.”
In Minnesota, craft breweries are likely to see plenty of support — they were the most popular type of small business in the state by a wide margin.
Mississippi was the state where residents showed the least interest in small businesses overall. Maybe this Small Business Saturday will be a good chance to change that.
Across the country, local hardware stores were popular business searches and in Missouri they were the most searched for small business.
In Montana, residents searched a lot for “Small Business Saturday,” but rarely searched for “small businesses” in general. This could mean that Montanans show the most support for small businesses on Small Business Saturday.
Nebraskans are looking outside their own state for small businesses to support. In the Cornhusker State, there were more searches for Etsy than for local businesses.
Searchers in Nevada showed the most interest in local distilleries of any state in the nation. Cheers!
In New Hampshire, residents apparently love a homemade gift. This state had more searches for local craft markets than anywhere else in the nation.
Residents of New Jersey are all about supporting small businesses all the time — this state had more searches for “small businesses near me” than any other.
New Mexico residents searched more often for Etsy than for any small businesses in their state.
New Yorkers don’t seem to discriminate against any small businesses — the state had more searches for the general term “small businesses” than for any specific type.
North Carolina was the median state in the nation for searches for Small Business Saturday.
North Dakota was the state least interested in community markets (farmers’ markets and craft markets).
Ohio searchers were more interested in family-owned restaurants than any other state in the nation.
Oklahoma residents searched for Etsy more than they searched for any small businesses within their own state.
Oregon is another state where residents want to support small businesses even outside their own borders — they searched for Etsy more than for any local small businesses.
Pennsylvania showed the most interest in local hardware stores of any state in the nation.
Rhode Island residents love to save money and reuse items — thrift stores are their favorite type of small business.
South Carolina is one of only two states where residents searched for small businesses in general more than they searched for Small Business Saturday.
South Dakotans aren’t spending much time searching for small businesses. This state had the fewest searches for 12 different business types.
Tennesseeans are always on the lookout for a delicious bite. In this state, the most searched for local business was local restaurants — by far.
Texas is one of only two states where residents searched for small businesses in general more than they searched for Small Business Saturday.
Utahns want to support all local businesses, but especially the ones close to them. This state had more searches for “local businesses near me” than any other.
Vermont is home to serious DIYers — this state led the nation in searches for hardware stores and thrift shops.
Virginians searched more than any other state for alcohol-related small businesses — except dive bars.
In Washington, residents want to drink local — the state’s top searches were a tie between local craft breweries and local distilleries.
West Virginia is clearly a fashionable state, as residents there were more interested in boutique clothing stores than any other type of small business.
Wisconsin residents weren’t the most interested in any category of small business — because they love them all. In this state, searches were high across the board for all small business types.
In Wyoming, local restaurants beat out other small business types to be the most popular by a wide margin, showing residents here are willing to go out of their way to support independent restaurants.
Using Google Analytics, we scraped and analyzed “near me” queries for different types of small businesses in each state.
The types of businesses included in our analysis were:
- Local restaurants
- Family-owned restaurants
- Local bars
- Dive bars
- Craft breweries
- Local distilleries
- Boutique shops
- Boutique clothing stores
- Thrift shops
- Local hardware stores
- Farmers’ markets
- Craft markets
We also looked at data about how many people in each state search for “small business,” “Small Business Saturday,” and other terms related to small businesses.