By Karen Axelton
Does your small business have plans to celebrate the holidays? As the economy shows signs of improvement, the recently released 2012 American Express OPEN Small Business Holiday Monitor finds small business owners are feeling more festive than they did in 2011. Here’s how other entrepreneurs will be celebrating this year.
More entrepreneurs are giving their employees bonuses (35 percent, compared to 29 percent in 2011). Of those, 25 percent report plans to give out larger bonuses this year than they did last year, with the average bonus being 9 percent. Employers say the number-one reason for giving out bonuses is to acknowledge good work.
Employers will also be celebrating in style, with 40 percent of small business owners reporting that they plan to host a holiday party (up from 35 percent last year). Entrepreneurs say they will spend an average of $959 on their celebration, down a little from $1,029 last year.
But employees aren’t the only ones who will be benefiting from small business owners’ generosity this year. Over half of small business owners (57 percent) say they plan to give a contribution to charity this holiday season. About one-third will give money, one-quarter will make an in-kind donation, and about one-quarter will donate their time.
Giving thank-you gifts is also an important part of the holidays. More than half (51 percent) of small business owners plan to give gifts to clients and customers this year, up from 43 percent last year. On average, entrepreneurs say they plan to spend $958, a steady increase from $827 last year and $740 in 2010.
Maybe one reason for the festive plans is that a good number small businesses overall are feeling fairly optimistic, despite the tentative economy. Some 36 percent of small business owners overall, and 41 percent of small retailers, report that they expect “strong” holiday sales this season, while 19 percent of small business owners and 13 percent of small retailers expect their sales to hold steady compared to last year.
How will you celebrate the holidays with your clients, customers and employees this year?
Image by Flickr user caitlinator (Creative Commons)