With the holiday season officially kicked off in the United States, small businesses are planning slightly higher gift-giving budgets in 2003. However, the overall percentage of small businesses planning to give gifts remained constant compared to last year.
According to a survey performed by International Communications Research on behalf of American Express’s OPEN Small Business Network, U.S. small businesses planned the following gifts for clients and customers:
- - Small businesses’ holiday budgets for client and customer gifts this season now average in total $966 (USD), up from last year by about 2%.
- - The number of businesses that plan to give gifts to clients and customers held steady in 2003 at 41%.
- - Sending cards or calendars to clients remained the most popular holiday gesture (18%) followed by a food or fruit basket (8%).
- - The number planning to give retail or restaurant gift certificates to key clients or customers doubled from 4% in 2002 to 8% in 2003.
The survey also covered small businesses’ holiday plans for their employees:
- - Year-end bonuses and parties topped the list, with 43% of businesses planning to give bonuses and the same percentage planning to hold holiday parties.
- - Also, 33% are planning to give employees gifts and 18% intend to give raises.
- - And, when you look at businesses with over $200,000 (USD) in annual revenues, the numbers are significantly increased over smaller counterparts when it comes to bonuses (60% vs. 26%), holiday parties (54% vs. 31%), holiday gifts (40% vs. 28%) and pay raises (27% vs. 10%). Not much of a surprise there, of course — at under $200,000 in revenues, there just isn’t as much to spread around.
The survey is based on a representative sample of 787 small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees across the United States.
For free and useful information about holiday planning for small businesses, including tools and tips, visit the OPEN Network’s Small Business Holiday Center.