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Yelp: Portland a top city for local holiday shoppers

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - A new Yelp/Harris survey says Portland is one of the top cities in the nation for people who want to shop locally.As the annual Small Business Saturday approaches, Yelp says Portland is one of the top cities to shop in neighborhoods and local businesses.

In a new survey released Tuesday, Nov. 24, by the online rating service, Yelp reported that Portland was the No. 5 city in the nation for local shoppers.

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, is a campaign to encourage people to buy goods and services from locally owned stores and businesses one day after Black Friday.

Yelp’s survey by the Harris Poll found that 64 percent of Americans plan to shop at local businesses this holiday season. Local shoppers plan to spend an average of $258 each, according to the Harris survey.

To come up with the local shopping rankings, Yelp created a “gifting score” for each city by sorting through reviews mentioning the word “gift” at businesses in shopping categories popular during the holidays. Yelp ranked cities based on the gifting score.

The Top 10 in Yelp’s survey:

1. Philadelphia

2. Honolulu

3. Seattle

4. Oakland

5. Portland

6. Oklahoma City

7. New Orleans

8. Burbank

9. Brooklyn

10. Denver

According to the Harris survey conducted in September, young people (18 and older) lead the pack, with about 64 percent planning to shop at local, independent stores. Nearly seven in 10 people age 18 to 34 told the Harris survey that they plan to shop for the holidays at local businesses, more than any other age group.

What motivates people to shop locally? Most (67 percent) want to find unique gifts, another 55 percent say they like supporting the local economy, and 44 percent say they do it because it’s convenient.

A survey by the National Retail Federation found that at least a third of all shoppers will use smartphone apps to find information about stores and gifts this holiday season.