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Shoppers turning to big businesses: report

AAP logoAAP 30/10/2016 Lisa Robinson

One in two shoppers say they prefer to buy from small businesses but more and more people are choosing to spend up at big stores, a new report has found.

Sixty per cent of consumers increased the frequency of their shopping at large businesses compared to only one third for small businesses in the last 12 months, The Economy of Shopping Small report commissioned by American Express found.

More people are also turning away from smaller stores, revealing a two-year downward trend, despite declaring their support for the small business community.

Katrina Konstas, vice president for small merchants at American Express, said convenience and time could be driving people to go to a one-stop large shop but it's critical people continue to support small businesses.

"If they don't back it up with action unfortunately we do risk losing what is really a vital cornerstone of our local communities," Ms Konstas said on Sunday.

"Small businesses have been a real fabric of our communities, whether it be the local milk bar, fish and chip shop or local grocer, they have been a real piece of Australiana."

There are around two million small businesses in Australia that employ more than five million people.

Accounting for 93 per cent of all businesses in Australia, Ms Konstas said small businesses were the backbone of our economy.

The report found dining, drinking, retail services like hairdressers and healthcare services were the most frequently purchased small businesses.

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