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More small-business owners will be in a festive mood for holidays

The number of bosses who plan to give bonuses and throw parties is up from last year, an American Express poll shows.

November 20, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Small-business owners are feeling more holiday cheer this year, which makes them more inclined to give bonuses and throw parties than in recent years, according to a new report.

A survey of 501 bosses who each manage fewer than 100 employees found that 35% will give bonuses, up from 29% last year, according to the poll from American Express Co.

And 4 in 10 said they will throw a holiday party, up from 35% in 2011. But they'll cut back slightly on celebration costs, spending $959 on average instead of $1,029. Half of companies will give their workers time off for the holidays, an improvement over 2011.

More than half the bosses will give their clients and customers gifts, up from 43% last year. Their Santa budgets will average $958, compared with $827 last year and $740 the year before.

A third of small-business owners last year said they wouldn't do anything special for the holidays, a portion that this year is closer to 2 in 10.

But don't look to small businesses to extend the goodwill to shoppers. Just 19% said they will offer discounts or other deals to boost holiday sales, down from 24% last year and far below the 41% of retailers who said they would offer discounts.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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