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Small Business Digest


Small Businesses Cutting Holiday Cheer To Employees; Spending More On Customers

Small business owners are cutting back on their holiday spending, but still claiming to be more of a Santa Claus figure than a scrooge.

According to the 2013 American Express OPEN Small Business Holiday Monitor small business employees are seeing a decrease in annual holiday parties, employee raises, and in bonuses.

According to the Monitor, 38% of respondents said they would not be planning holiday activities for their staff this year.

At the same time, average spend on customer/employee gifts increased over the past two years..

On top of cutting back on their holiday activities, small business owners are giving their staff fewer end-of-year bonuses this year, the Monitor reports.

However, more than one-third of them said the bonuses given will be larger than last year.

Perhaps reflecting the difficult times being experienced by many small businesses, gifts to clients/customers jumped.

The average budget for client/customer holiday gifts was pegged at $1,129, a significant increase from the $958.00 average in 2012 and the $827.00 in 2011, the Monitor reported.

The increased budget is helpful, but only to those few employees receiving end-of-year bonuses this year.

Digging deeper into the survey, the Monitor reported only certain businesses are willing to give their few employees end-of-year bonuses.

According to the Monitor, “retailers are more likely to offer their employees end-of-year bonuses and that is 32% of retailers apart from the 27% of small business owners to be exact.”

It seems that even with an increased budget, small businesses are thinking twice about their spending and holiday activities are at the top of that list.

However scrooge-like the small business cuts in bonuses and raises may seem, they do bring a sense of holiday cheer when it comes to supporting one another.

According to the Monitor, 54% of small businesses are supporting each other by purchasing the gifts they do buy from other small businesses.

Although the less fortunate employees may suffer from their lack of raises, small business owners are being more cautious with their increased budgets this holiday season in hopes to better manage their companies as well as the others around them.

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