Small Business in Holiday Mood?

According to the 2010 American Express OPEN Small Business Holiday Monitor, this season is shaping up to be a mixed bag for many companies. While more plan in some way to celebrate the season than last year (62% versus 38% last year), only 44% will actually give holiday gifts to customers. Calendars, gift cards, and fruit or food baskets continue to be the most popular gifts for customers.

About the same number of companies plan to do something for their employees this season, but spending has certainly changed. The number of those planning holiday parties is down to 37% (compared with 42% last year).

According to a Amrop Battalia Winston survey, this is the worst party season in 22 years. The number of small businesses giving year-end bonuses is down to 25% (compared with 31% last year). The number planning to give time off is down to 42% (from 47% in the prior year).

The economy has clearly impacted what is going on during the holiday season. In fact, according to the American Express OPEN survey, 35% of owners say that they are making personal sacrifices to give gifts to customers or employees (up from 31% the year before).

How are you coping with the holidays?

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