The festive season is a period of downtime for many Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs) according to the latest Owner Managed Business Barometer report from Bank of Cyprus UK. For them, the season brings a period of rest and thoughts of planning for the year ahead.

The research, which questioned 500 business decision makers with fewer than 50 employees, revealed that two fifths (43%) of businesses will be closed over Christmas. This is traditionally a quiet period for most OMBs who over the last twelve months have enjoyed the highest confidence levels since the research began. However, one in five (17%) OMBs are still planning to be open over the holiday season, including the bank holidays, while nearly a third (30%) said that they would be open, but closed for the bank holidays.

Businesses were also asked how important Christmas is for them when it comes to trading. Over a quarter of businesses (26%) said that they expect to see a decrease in sales over the festive period. Nearly half (48%) of businesses questioned stated that Christmas time is business as usual for them and that they don’t expect sales to rise or fall.

Tony Leahy, at Bank of Cyprus UK, commenting on the findings, said: “OMBs fulfil an important role in our local communities. It is therefore important that we give them our support, particularly those for whom the Christmas season is business as usual.”

“With this year’s Autumn Statement offering relief to many small businesses, coupled with initiatives such as ‘Small Business Saturday’, our research shows that OMBs are increasingly optimistic for 2014.”

For further information please contact:

Rachel Finlay, Teamspirit Public Relations, 0207 360 7877,

Kate Mallett, Teamspirit Public Relations, 0207 360 7877, 

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