C'mon, You Deserve It

Go ahead--give yourself that raise. Everyone else is. Last year, pay hikes for CEOs at small and medium-sized companies ranged from 10% to 17%, depending on region. (The Northeast was highest, the South lowest.) At businesses with sales of less than $10 million, direct compensation for the boss averaged $142,000 at companies that didn't offer bonuses, according to Segal Co., which tracks officer compensation. Howard Goldstein, a co-author of the annual study, attributes the big raises to the overall growth of the economy. In fact, he was somewhat surprised that bonuses--which averaged $88,000--weren't higher.

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