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Tis the season for holiday parties

The economy is giving employers a reason to celebrate. According to a national survey by Career Builder, nearly 60-percent of employers plan to throw a work holiday party this year. Company parties were the first to go when the recession hit but now back in the spirit of giving, employers are giving a boost to the local economy.

The holiday season has been a gift to local caterers and restaurant owners, increasing sales at Lorraines Food Factory by 15-percent. We're not necessarily where we used to be but we are on our way back, said Lorraine Serpe, the owner of the local catering company.

When the economy crashed, Serpe said sales at her catering company plummeted, It was tough yes, in 2010, yes it was as struggle. Serpe said orders for holiday parties dropped by about 60 percent.

It gets really expensive, so we scaled backed. said Jeff Carl, president of Jeffery Ellis Carl Cabinetmakers. There's 24 people who work here, so it's 24 dinners and it's a big chunk of the dayyou got to set up and it's time away from production.

One of Serpes customers who stopped ordering from Lorraines in 2010, Carl party plans depend on profits.

An easy expense to cut, Serpe said many local employers tightened their belts, trimming budgets for holiday parties. I saw some clients of mine just purchasing spring water and dessert for their employees and then they had to spring their bag lunches.

Now, Serpe said thats changingEmployers are spreading holiday cheer and putting food on the menu. Serpe said, Thank God that that has changed and the economy in Rochester is coming around again.

Like Carl, more and more of her customers are returning to place orders for company holiday parties. Carl said, I think it says to your employees that youre willing to carve out that time, spend that money and let them know how much they appreciate all that they do for you. 

Parties are not the only way companies plan to reward employees, according to by Career Builder, 45-percent plan to give out holiday bonuses this year. That percentage is on par with the numbers from 2012, with 45-percent of employers planning to give out the same size or larger bonuses this time around. 

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Washington Times