Smaller Businesses More Likely To Give Holiday Bonuses?


Holiday bonuses are a thing of the past for some of the larger employers in Wisconsin. But, businesses with fewer than 100 employees are becoming more likely to offer them.Gail Ambrosius owns Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier in Madison. She’s been open for eight years and says her shop is famous for its truffles. She’s been working 80 hour weeks to finish holiday orders with her 15 employees. She’s one of many Wisconsin small business owners who intend to give out holiday bonuses this year, “I just think as a small business you have flexibility to make your own decisions. You know, I’m not run by a board. It’s just me. You know when you get that Christmas bonus, it’s really a special appreciation I think. You know people feel valued. I just think it’s the right thing to do.”

Ambrosius is part of a Wisconsin business roundtable group and says she’s not the only one who supports the bonuses. Alice Bredin is a small business advisor at American Express OPEN. She says 35 percent of small businesses will give their employees a bonus this year and 40 percent will throw holiday parties. Bredin says those percentages have been steadily increasing for the past few years and are a sign of an improving economy, “Business owners are telling us that they are feeling a greater sense of ease around cashflow concerns and that they are feeling more optimistic in general because they have more customers coming in the door whether that door is real for virtual.”

Instead of offering holiday bonuses, many of the larger employers in Wisconsin offer profit-sharing plans or end of fiscal year bonuses based on performance.

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