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Survey: Small biz owners working harder

American small business owners report working more hours, more days, and more holidays than their general public hardworkcounterparts, and during the past year, that gap has widened, according to a recent poll conducted by the Discover Small Business Watch.

While the number of days and hours on the job for the average American has been relatively flat since 2007, the number of small business owners who work more than 10 hours a day jumped from 30% in 2008 to 39% in 2009. In comparison, only 20% of average workers make the same claim.

When it comes to days worked per week, 61% of small business owners said they work six or more, up from 45% in 2008 and 43% in 2007. Comparatively, only 22% of workers in the general population say they work more than five days a week.

The survey also showed:

·         Less time for vacation. Given their heavy work schedules, small business owners are finding less time for vacation than in years past. Today, only 29% say they have taken a vacation in the past year that lasted a week, down from 40% in May 2008 and 41% in May 2007. Thirty percent say it’s been four years or more since they had a vacation that lasted a week, up from 23% in both 2008 and 2007.

·         Vacations postponed. 56% of small business owners say that the economy has caused them to postpone or cancel vacation time this summer, compared to 45% of the general population who said the same.

·         Day off defined. 27% of small business owners define a day off as not working at all, followed by 37% who say a day off means not actively working, but available for calls and e-mails; 25% define it as working an hour here and there; 7% said it’s working all day, but from a remote location; and 3% weren’t sure how they would define a day off. In the general population, 54% of people define a day off as not working at all.

·         Working holidays. 57% of small business owners say they always or most of the time work on holidays, up from 47% in 2008. 31% of the general public says they always or most of the time work on holidays, up from 29% in 2008.

The Discover small Business Watch is a monthly index that measures the relative economic confidence of U.S. small business owners who have less than five employees. It is based on a random survey of 750 small business owners and is conducted for Discover Business Card by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent survey research firm.

Source: Discover Financial Services

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