Small Biz Employers Cutting Back on End-of-Year Rewards

November 3, 2009 ( - A recent survey of small business owners or managers shows fewer of them planning to give end-of-year bonuses or gifts to their workers.

Less than a third (31%) of the 500 respondents to the survey by American Express’ small business division said employees would get an end-of-year bonus, compared to 44% who said so in last year’s survey, the Associated Press reports. Only 16% are planning raises, compared with 30% last year.

Meanwhile, 35% of the owners or managers at companies with fewer than 100 employees said employees would get holiday gifts, down from 46% in 2008. Of those still giving a present, 42% said they’ll give fewer or cheaper gifts to customers and employees.

The businesses are cutting back on employee compensation and presents before client gifts, according to the AP. Nearly half the companies surveyed plan to give presents to customers, about the same as last year, and those surveyed said they would spend $455, on average, on the holiday presents, virtually the same as in 2008 ($457).

The good news for employees: the number of workers who will be getting time off over the holidays remained the same as last year, at 47%.