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Wedding Economy Provides Strong Growth Opportunities for Small Businesses

While the pandemic led to engaged couples needing to shift, postpone and even cancel weddings, the wedding industry has certainly come back at full force — fueled largely by small businesses.

According to a survey conducted by Intuit QuickBooks of 500 U.S. adults that were married within the last year, 95 percent of couples worked with at least one small business. The company notes that the finding demonstrates a clear appetite from the consumers to choose to work with small businesses for their wedding day.

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The opportunity through the wedding industry, the company said, is set to largely power small businesses’ growth in 2022 and beyond — especially due to the large scope of elements that go into planning the perfect wedding. Couples shared that they had worked with these small businesses for a range of products and services including photographers, makeup artists, event planners, florists, bakers, caterers, hairstylists, DJs and more.

Still, across all categories, small businesses are going head-to-head with large vendors in the wedding space and some challenges come with that. Data in Intuit QuickBooks’ survey found that the number-one reason that couples chose to hire a bigger business was due to the small business not offering the same service (41 percent). Another third of respondents said they chose a larger vendor because the small business wasn’t available when they needed them.

Importantly, many couples are consciously deciding to work with a small vendor with nearly all (98 percent) of respondents reporting it was “important to work with a small business as a vendor.”

In part, this sentiment reflects the consumers’ overall desire to support small businesses, with a third of respondents reporting that they wanted to support local businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. Digging deeper into why consumers find it essential to support small businesses, the company found that 44 percent of respondents felt that service would be better and more personalized using a small business vendor.

To take advantage of the opportunities that the wedding industry provides, the authors of the report highlight the need for small businesses to modernize methods of accepting payment as their business grows. Intuit QuickBooks’ survey revealed that the most popular form of payment is cash with 56 percent of consumers saying they had paid vendors in cash. Another two-thirds of respondents said they had used a credit card to pay vendors and 21 percent utilized cryptocurrency.

Overall, consumers of small business wedding vendors shared great appreciation and positive experiences. With 68 percent of respondents saying there was a “vendor that saved the day,” 74 percent reported that the vendor was a small business.

Notably, in a second survey report from Intuit QuickBooks, data revealed that consumers plan to spend 40 percent of their total holiday budget at small businesses, representing an $88 billion opportunity during the holiday shopping season.