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Office Depot aims to keep small business owners connected

With the official start of summer underway, one-third of small to medium-size business owners (SMBs) say they will not be able to take a vacation this year, according to the latest Small Business Index conducted by Office Depot.

Those who are able to get away this year can do so because they have reliable staff to cover for them while they are away from the office (35%) and have technology that keeps them connected no matter where they are (32%).

“For the millions of dedicated small business owners who continue to burn the midnight oil and put in long hours day in and day out, the much-awaited summer vacation provides a crucial opportunity to recharge and refresh,” said Steve Calkins, EVP, business solutions division for Office Depot. “To help support entrepreneurs, Office Depot and OfficeMax are rolling out the latest technology products and services, from tablets and mobile devices to dedicated copy and printing services, which help streamline important operations and keep business running smoothly, even when they’re away from the office.”

The survey also points to a connection between taking time off and business success, with many SMBs feeling the need to stay physically close to their operations if business revenue was down. Those small business owners not taking a summer vacation this year cited financial hardship as the primary cause (60%).

Additional findings included the following:

  • 29% prefer to travel during other months of the year
  • 21% are unable to travel during the summer since it is their busiest season
  • 14% do not have enough staff to cover for them
  • One in five SMB owners are actually taking a vacation as a direct result of business being down, providing them with extra time to take a break from work.

Interviews are being conducted online among a nationally representative sample of small and medium-size businesses. The May wave of interviewing was conducted from May 6-May 28 among a total of 1,500 small and medium-size businesses. Interviewing will be conducted on a monthly basis to track shifts that occur over time.