A survey finds many employers are scrapping year-end bonuses and holiday parties.
A growing number of small-business owners are putting a federal stimulus package on the top of their holiday wish list this season, while cancelling year-end bonuses and office parties, according to PayCycle.
Of 351 clients recently surveyed by the Palo Alto, Calif.-based online payroll firm, 34 percent said they want president-elect Barack Obama to pass a small-business economic stimulus bill on taking office early next year. Other top issues included fixing healthcare and Social Security.
"The passion that small-business owners have for these larger economic issues and the depth of their responses amazed us," said Jane Willis, PayCycle's vice president of branded business. "They really do follow them, and they are very engaged."
Respondents cited the slowdown in consumer spending, the credit crisis, and declines in the stock and housing markets among issues having the biggest impact on their businesses.
As the holiday season begins, many small-business owners are battening down the hatches by scrapping year-end bonuses for themselves and their top employees, the survey found. According to Willis, owners were more likely to cancel their own bonuses before those of their employees.
"They don't have the money to pay both, and they are putting the morale of employees first," she said.
Many employers are also cutting back or outright cancelling office holiday parties, the survey found.