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Holiday Bonuses Take Back Seat to Customer Gifts


Times might be lean, but Scrooge is not going to be making an appearance at most businesses this year. In spite of tough economic times, nearly half of small business owners recently surveyed plan to give their customers holiday gifts this year.

Not only that, but the average cost of those customer gifts is $740 in total, up from $455 last year, according to a recent survey by American Express OPEN.

But while customers will be getting a little thank you gift this year, employees aren’t going to be so lucky. Only one in four small business owners plan to give employees end-of-year bonuses, down from 31 percent in 2009. Even fewer (14 percent) plan to give employees raises.

Holiday parties are also on the decline, with only 37 percent (vs. 42 percent last year) planning holiday parties.

The survey also found that while 65 percent of small business owners plan to employ tactics to boost sales during the holidays, only 27 percent go into holiday mode before Halloween. The biggest tactic for increasing holiday sales is discounting products, which 31 percent of small business owners surveyed plan to do.