Why Americans trust local family-owned businesses the most

3 min readJul 6, 2022
Photo by Emma Dau on Unsplash

According to new research, Americans trust local and family-owned businesses more than any other kind.

A recent poll of 2,000 adults uncovered that 67% trust local businesses and 64% trust family-owned businesses compared to 59% who trust corporate multinationals and 61% who rely on franchises.

Among the reasons why respondents prefer local and family-owned businesses, 39% said it helps their community.

Other reasons included better quality (34%), transparency about sources (32%) and fewer middlemen (31%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CG Roxane, the survey also asked respondents about their shopping habits and how it impacts their community.

More than half, 57%, are even willing to spend more money on goods that are locally sourced and 59% agree that it is easy to find those products in their area.

In fact, three in five (60%) are more likely to purchase bottled water sourced from a natural spring in their region, rather than trucked in from another part of the country.

Even so, things like being owned by someone in the community (44%) and community member staff (40%) ranked at the top in terms of identifying a local business.

Respondents can name an average of five businesses that are active in their community.

On top of that, 56% of respondents consider themselves informed when it comes to community involvement.

When it comes to benefitting by way of scholarship, fundraisers or other events, over half have benefited directly from this type of community involvement from local businesses, while 42% also know of someone else who benefitted.

More than one-quarter have both benefited and know someone who has.

“It isn’t surprising that people view family-owned and operated businesses as more trustworthy,” said CG Roxane Office & Human Resources Manager Cindy Miller. “But what people may not realize is that it also allows those businesses to make decisions quickly in response to community needs. This includes scholarship initiatives, and environmental and community partnerships. Not only does that enrich the lives of employees, but their families and friends at the local level across the country.”

The survey also asked respondents about their eco-friendly lifestyles and how those behaviors reflect shopping habits.

More than two-thirds (67%) regularly engage in environmentally-conscious behaviors or activities.

And when choosing where to purchase their goods, more than half (51%) of respondents care deeply about the environmental impact of the businesses they support.

Respondents value eco-friendly business practices such as recycling initiatives (40%).

For all the positives those surveyed look for in their goods, they also identified several red flags.

Things like high cost (35%) and “imported” or “internationally sourced” language can discourage respondents from purchasing that item.

Over the last six months, respondents have purchased goods that are “locally owned” (39%), environmentally friendly (38%), “locally sourced” (37%) and “family-owned” (35%).

Helps my community — 39%
My money goes to a business that needs it — 37%
Better quality — 34%
More tailored to my area/needs — 32%
Transparency about sources — 32%
Fair treatment of all employees — 31%
Less middle men — 31%
Needs of consumers come first — 30%

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