News & Resources

Is Small Business Moving Towards a European Summer Work Model?

(July 26, 2022) The Dog Days of (Business) Summer are upon us, like never before. Here at Bray & Long, we have always noticed a slight decrease in the legal needs of our clients during the summer months. Additionally, our business and transactional practice explodes around Labor Day when children are back in school and business owners are done with their summer vacations. Most of our clients are privately-held, small to mid-sized companies, whose owners and executives use the summer months for a break with their families, before returning in earnest to their professional interests in the fall.

Since founding our law firm in 2003, this trend has largely remained consistent. However, in 2022, we are seeing a more dramatic downturn in deal-making, commercial agreements, and the general run-of-the-mill legal work which we typically provide to our clients on a daily basis.

Why is that? We think that the answer is complicated, but certainly starts with COVID. One look at our crowded airports and highways makes it pretty apparent that families are catching up on vacations that have probably been put off since 2020. But more interestingly – and based on discussions with our clients who are either affiliated with, or owned by, foreign companies – there appears to be some thought in the business marketplace that American businesses may to some extent begin embracing a European model of downtime in the summer months. For instance, we have multiple clients who have chosen to completely close their doors for a week, either as a mental-wellness break, or simply as a means to attract talent with what is still a rare employment benefit.

So, will American companies shutter their doors for the entire month of July or August like some of our European colleagues? We personally doubt that such extended periods of inactivity will ever be fully supported here in the United States, but the winds are blowing in a new commercial direction with respect to time-off and creating company philosophies that encourage dedicated vacation time.

Either way, we are as always excited for the prospects of a busy fall, and the return of breakneck dealmaking, urgent deadlines and the intellectual challenges posed by each and every client call!

Bray & Long is a six-attorney business, corporate and commercial law practice based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our principal practice areas are general corporate, commercial litigation, commercial real estate, estate planning, construction and mergers & acquisitions. Please visit our website at for more information on our practice and our professionals.