November turned out to be a boon for small retailers, according to a new report by MasterCard Advisors and Wells Fargo. 

The sales growth rate for small retailers (under all sectors, including restaurant and hardware, but excluding those in the auto sector) shot up from 4.2% in October to 5.2% in November. This surpassed the 4.5% rate of total U.S. retail sales, of which about a third come from small businesses.

From January through November, the sales growth rate for small retailers--sans the auto sector--was 7.1% compared to the 5.3% rate for the overall retail industry.

But the study also noted November’s results fell below the 5.5% average of the prior three months, adds the Washington Post. 

The reason? Michael McNamara, vice president for research at MasterCard Advisors, points to Hurricane Sandy:

“November sales were negatively impacted by weather events especially in the Northeast," he said in a statement. "However, across the country as a whole, smaller retailers showed a good rebound from the slowing growth in October."

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday that retail sales (without sales from gasoline and motor vehicles) climbed 0.7% during November.