Entrepreneurs Are Giving More Bonuses, Holiday Parties

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Main Street is getting into the holiday spirit this year, according to a recent survey from Bank of America.

Seventy-seven percent of small-business owners polled say they expect to hit year-end revenue goals, and Millennial business owners feel especially optimistic. Ninety-four percent of the 13- to 34-year-old entrepreneurs polled say they will meet their goals, compared to just 73% of Baby Boomers and 80% of Gen Xers.

And while optimism may come a bit easier to younger business owners, holiday cheer is up overall this year. Fifty-two percent of entrepreneurs say they will give year-end bonuses, compared to 49% in 2013. There is an even greater jump in holiday party planning: 49% are going to throw a party this year, a six-point increase from last year.

Finding and Keeping Good Talent

Holiday parties are all well and good, but small-business owners know that retaining good talent means treating staffers well year-round. However, deciding what that entails seems to depend on the age of the business owner.

Over half of business owners of all ages say increasing salaries is critical to retaining talent. (54% of Millennials agree, while even more Baby Boomers (65%) say this is important.)

But Millennials are much more likely than older entrepreneurs to place value on other perks. Nearly one in five Millennials say they need to implement a casual dress code to keep workers, compared to just 11% of Boomers. Meanwhile, 27% of Millennials say perks like free meals and gym memberships are important, versus just 15% of Boomers.

The Bank of America Small Business Owner Report was conducted by Braun Research in October 2014. 1,000 small business owners with between 2 and 99 employees participated in the survey.