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Economy Hinders Holiday Plans For Small Business Leaders

July 8th - Small business bosses are feeling the impact of the credit crunch when planning time away from work this year, according to Continental Research’s latest monthly business omnibus. While two thirds (65%) of senior financial decision makers in medium and larger sized businesses are planning to take at least two weeks off, less than half (46%) of small business bosses plan to be away for this long and 12% will have no time off at all.


The current economic climate is also affecting behaviours of both groups in different ways. Small business bosses who are planning a holiday are more likely than those at larger businesses to keep in touch with work while away. 42% anticipate spending less money on their holiday due to economic pressures, compared to only 28% from large businesses.

Agnes Maisonial, research executive, said: “The pressure of having a small business in these economically uncertain times is most telling in that over a quarter (27%) of small businesses are less able to relax compared to only 18% of those working at larger businesses.”

All businesses agree strongly that their holiday will be more important in light of economic pressures, to help re-charge their batteries.

As the credit crunch began to hit home at the end of last year, small business owners remained optimistic about their own performance long after they had started to lose faith in the economy in general. But now small businesses are definitely feeling the pinch with confidence crashing about their trading prospects and general economic pessimism.

A net 3% of small business owners expect their turnover to increase in the coming year, a significant spiral downwards from 39% at the same period last year showing that concerns about the economy are now undermining confidence in the performance of their own businesses.

Trading prospects in next 12 months June 2007 Dec 2007 June 2008
Increase 52% 47% 27%
Decrease 13% 9% 24%
Net position +39% +38% +3%

General economic pessimism has plummeted as well. A net 43% feel less optimistic about economic prospects compared to a net 17% feeling more optimistic last year, although confidence had already begun to fall dramatically in December with a net 16% feeling less optimistic about the economy by December.

The economy compared to three months ago June 2007 Dec 2007 June 2008
More optimistic 47% 34% 20%
Less optimistic 30% 50% 63%
Net optimism +17% -16% -43%

Shiona Davies, Director, Continental Research, said: “These are the lowest levels of confidence we’ve seen. As the ‘credit crunch’ hit the headlines in the last quarter of 2007, small businesses stayed optimistic about their own business performance even while losing confidence in the economy. However, what we’re now seeing is many more small businesses facing up to a challenging year ahead as concerns about their own businesses grow.”
Findings are based on questions placed on Continental’s Business Omnibus in June 2008. 501 financial decision makers were surveyed, in companies with a turnover of £50,000 - £20m+.
For more information on the monthly omnibus, please contact Agnes Maisonial at Continental Research on 0207 490 9119 //

PR: Amanda Harrison 01296 660 294

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