U.S. consumers seeking to support local businesses this Thanksgiving weekend spent about $5.5 billion, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.

US President Barack Obama (R) and his daughters Malia (L) and Sasha shop at One More Page Books on Small Business Saturday, which promotes shopping at local small businesses, in the Falls Church neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, on November 24, 2012. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The NFIB survey asked 1,000 adults if they were aware of Small Business Saturday, and, if so, how much they spent at independent merchants. Based on responses, the NFIB estimated that almost 10 percent of total weekend sales were Small Business Saturday-related, or $5.5 billion out of the $59.1 billion total reported by the National Retail Federation. The small business figure only reflects how much shoppers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent, and not how much was actually spent at small businesses on Nov. 24.

This is the first year American Express and NFIB have collaborated on this study, and therefore the number cannot be compared to spending last year, according to the credit card giant. However, American Express did report a 21 percent increase in card-member transactions on Small Business Saturday.

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