Fewer small-business owners are planning to take a vacation this summer compared to previous years, a recent survey shows.

Of 626 small business owners polled nationwide, 59 percent said they plan to take at least one week off this year, down from an average of 67 percent over the last four years, according to OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor. Among owners planning to get away, three-quarters said they will occasionally check in with their business by phone or e-mail, while 32 percent said they will check in several times a day.

Among the biggest concern owners cited were that customers would not receive the same level of service in their absence. Other concerns included poor judgment calls by staff or employees slacking off. At the same time, 35 percent of respondents said they often get their best business ideas during time off.

Whatever their concerns, it's crucial for small-business owners to take a breather to "recharge their energy and creativity," Alice Bredin, an OPEN small-business advisor, said in a statement.

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