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Small business survey: Majority expect 2011 recovery


A national survey of small business owners shows that they are growing more optimistic about the future, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

According to the Business Confidence Survey by Insperity, a Houston-based human resources consulting firm, 23 percent of U.S. small business owners believe an economic rebound is under way, and 40 percent say they expect it to occur in the latter part of this year.

The survey was conducted April 19-21, and asked small business owners across the nation about a range of issues.

Owners said that hiring is up somewhat, with 37 percent of respondents saying they are adding new positions, up from 24 percent when surveyed last fall; 57 percent stated that they are maintaining current staffing levels, and only 6 percent are laying off employees.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are taking steps consistent with a slow-growth economy, while finding ways to convert obstacles into opportunities,” said Paul Sarvadi, Insperity’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We’re starting to move in the right direction, led by the flexibility and adaptability of this vital segment of the business community.”

The economy was again listed as the leading short-term concern by 68 percent of business owners, but that’s down from 77 percent in November; followed by 46 percent specifying rising health care costs versus 54 percent previously; 45 percent citing government health care reform; and 36 percent listing controlling operating costs.

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