Summer vacation? Not for many small business owners

Fresno BeeAugust 22, 2011 

While some people's summer vacations take them across the country, many small-business owners are stuck at work, grappling with the decision to take even a few days off.

Taking time off -- for vacation, illness or jury duty -- always has been a challenge, one that is extra difficult this year given the fragile state of businesses in the economic downturn.

Forty-six percent of small-business owners said they planned to take a vacation this summer, down from 67% in 2006, according to an American Express survey of small businesses.

Yet, times like these are when vacations are needed the most, said Bill Myers, owner of Fresno Strategic Business Coaching in Fresno.

He said he thinks every business owner needs two consecutive weeks off away from the business every year to refresh.

"I believe you get stale in running a business during times like this when there's so much pressure that sometimes you can't see the needle for the haystack," he said.

But when only a handful of people run the business, getting away can be difficult. Some small-business owners simply don't take time off. Others close their business down completely or call in parents or children who sometimes work for free.

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