Staff Holiday Perks To Rise In 2012

About 40% Of Small-Biz Owners Plan To Throw Holiday Parties

Holiday PerksMore small-business owners will hold holiday parties and give their employees end-of-year bonuses this year compared to 2011, according to a new survey conducted by American Express (AMEX). Results show about 40% of small-business owners plan to throw holiday parties, spending just under $1,000 each on festivities. Roughly 35% of these companies will provide bonuses to their employees, a 6% increase from last year. On average, those bonuses will amount to a 9% bump in pay for each small-business worker. Meanwhile, just 20% of business owners that responded to the survey said they had no special plans to reward employees for the holidays.

While employees are poised to benefit from more generous bosses, it appears clients and customers will enjoy some added holiday cheer as well. AMEX says more than half of small-business owners will give their customers gifts, up from 43% in 2011. Just as noteworthy for distributors, client holiday gift budgets at small businesses will average about $958, rising from $827 last year and $740 in 2010.

The only group that may feel a little passed over by small firms this year will be shoppers. AMEX says only 19% of small-business owners expect to offer discounts to strengthen their holiday sales, down from 24% in 2011. In contrast, about 40% of major retailers are planning discounts through the holiday shopping season, hoping lower prices and improving consumer confidence in the U.S. will boost sales and profits.