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Holiday shopping beats out Sandy in November

Wednesday - 12/12/2012, 3:19am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new report is encouraging news for small business, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

MasterCard Advisors and Wells Fargo report spending by holiday shoppers trumped Sandy's impact on small businesses in November.

The report says shoppers spent 5.2 percent more at small retailers in November than they did last year. Small businesses even fared better than the industry at large. Total U.S. retail sales increased 4.5 percent for the same period.

The weather did hurt sales at some businesses but holiday shopping offset that. Additionally, the small-business sector is heavy with food, hardware and other businesses that would benefit from storm-recovery sales.

The report found that smaller retailers did show improvement from October to November, but it wasn't enough to offset a downward sales trend in place since February. November's results were also below the 5.5 percent average of the prior three months.

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