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Most companies plan on having holiday parties: report

November 22, 2011 | 12:57 pm

A majority of companies plan to hold holiday parties this year, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas
The party must go on.

Despite a still-weak economy, a majority of companies still plan to hold holiday parties this year, according to an annual report released Tuesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Nearly 68% of businesses reported that they plan to throw a year-end bash in the coming weeks, down from the pre-recession period of 2007, when about 90% of companies surveyed had such plans.

The economy's slow pace has left some companies with little reason to celebrate. Some businesses have put off hiring, equipment upgrades and other big expenditure to stay afloat. Yet many refuse to abandon the holiday party, said John A. Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"For many employers, the holiday party is a way to demonstrate appreciation for employees' hard work throughout the year,"  he said. "Others see the parties as a relatively low-cost morale builder.  For smaller companies, the holiday party is simply an extension of a more family-like relationship that often exists between these employers and their employees."

Some companies have engaged in cost-saving measures. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they will cut down on the guest list by limiting attendance to employees only.

Still, almost half of the companies surveyed said they plan to offer alcohol at their holiday event. 

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-- Angel Jennings

Photo: Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants poses with "Santa and Mrs. Claus" at a holiday party for Ryan Seacrest's company. Credit: Curtis Dahl Photography

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