Though many companies are in better shape than they were a few years ago, some employers are still making cutbacks when it comes to holiday budgets which includes parties. Just 35% of small-business owners are expecting to host a holiday party—the lowest in the 10-year history of the American Express OPEN survey of small businesses. ”Even if they’re not struggling, they’ve recently been through an incredibly tough time,” says Alice Bredin, small-business adviser to American Express OPEN. “If they’ve had awful cash-flow woes or have had to lay people off—pick your painful moment—that doesn’t go away quickly. It leaves an impact on the decisions you make.”
Caterers say companies are having smaller parties this year than they did last year. Many that have rented space for parties in the past are instead having the events in their offices. Companies want to let staffers and clients know that they’re appreciated, but they don’t want to do it in a frivolous way. ”People are becoming very thoughtful with their dollars and their entertainment in a different way,” says Nancy Wright, president of Blue Plate, a Chicago-based caterer and restaurant operator. We came up with a list of some tips to help you throw an awesome but frugal holiday party on a budget. For a visual just watch any Christmas episode of The Office. Having a staff as funny as the cast of The Office will also help your party be awesome.