At the dawn of 2020, Southwest Florida small business owners were expecting the area's retail economy to expand by 4.1%. This optimism was stoked by the National Retail Federation's chief economist who said, "Consumers remain upbeat and have the confidence to spend, and the steady wage growth that has come with the strong job market is fueling their spending. The state of the consumer is very healthy."
By February, however, the country entered into a COVID-19 induced recession. Then, to slow the spread of the pandemic, on April 3, the Governor of Florida locked the state down. This brought the SWFL area's $22.5 billion retail economy to a standstill.
As stores, restaurants, and offices in the Fort Myers-Naples area begin to re-open, consumers' appetite for spending is returning. According to Nielsen, loyal radio listeners are very likely to be first in line at the cash registers.In a study of adults conducted at the very end of May, Nielsen found among consumers who had postponed a major purchase because of the pandemic, loyal radio listeners are 29% more likely than the general population to now complete that purchase within 30 days of restrictions easing.
In a typical year, SWFL consumers will spend more than $19 billion at car dealerships and auto part dealers. That spending, too, has stalled. The latest Nielsen study identifies loyal radio listeners as being 38% more likely to buy or lease a vehicle within 12 months of restrictions easing.
For almost every Florida small business category, loyal radio listeners will be the first to return as pandemic imposed restrictions are eased.
To claim a share of the post Coronavirus spending, will require local small business owners to advertise. Based on Nielsen's consumer study result, advertising on Fort Myers radio is the best option.