With small businesses representing more than 99 percent of businesses in the U.S., it may seem that they would have a wealth of resources to turn to for support. Yet the majority say they feel alone, according to new research by The UPS Store. The research* shows small business owners feel they don't get the support they need to cope with their relentless and often unpredictable challenges. In many cases, they don't even find understanding. The research also shows that all things being equal, more than 90 percent of small business owners would prefer to do business with other local business owners. "Small business owners want to keep the local economy healthy and believe locally-based businesses offer them the best opportunity to develop the trusting relationships they crave," said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and small business solutions at The UPS Store. In a brand repositioning that capitalizes on its business model - its 4,700 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are all locally owned The UPS Store franchises and will begin emphasizing that it offers a range of services tailored to meet the needs of small businesses in all stages of the business lifecycle. Just as importantly, The UPS Store serves as a dependable resource, offering insight and practical solutions to the endless barrage of issues and needs all small business owners face. In addition to offering well-recognized services like packing and shipping, printing, faxing, direct mail, and mailbox services, The UPS Store will work with business owners to develop custom solutions to ensure their unique business needs are met. "We know firsthand the kinds of challenges small business owners face, and we offer solutions that work," Van Slyke said. "Our goal is to make it easier for small business owners to run their day-to-day operations." Sandy Poehnelt, owner of the The Right Slice, a pie shop in Kauai, Hawaii, experienced this service when she arrived, pie in-hand, to her local The UPS Store. The UPS Store owner designed a customized shipping solution that has helped Sandy expand her business to the mainland. "I don't just make pies; I do paperwork, all my accounting, check orders, and run my shop," Poehnelt said. "It is a lot of responsibility. At the end of the day, it's on me. But shipping pies is one thing I don't have to worry about. The UPS Store takes the weight off my shoulders." "We want small businesses in our communities to know we're a part of their neighborhood. We understand their needs, and we're here for them," Van Slyke said. "And because our locations are locally owned, our store owners are uniquely positioned to provide relevant guidance and insights."