Small Businesses More Hopeful, Though Skepticism about Economy Lingers

By Kristen AskinFOXBusiness

A survey of 3,000 small business owners released Thursday by U.S. Bank revealed that small business owners are feeling more confident in today’s economy, though uncertainty linked to the recession still looms.

Owners who reported revenue in line or greater than the previous year jumped from 55% in 2010 to 64% in 2011, and only 10% of owners expect revenue to drop next year.

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The job outlook seems to be stabilizing, with 70% expecting to maintain staffing levels intact in the next year, and 22% reporting they plan to hire.

The number of small businesses reporting they found their bank helpful to business jumping 7 percentage points, to 43%.

About 89% of small business owners believed the economy was in a recession in 2010, and that number remains high at 78% in 2011. Nearly a third of owners reported economic uncertainty is their biggest concern for business in the coming year.

Perhaps one popular resource small business owners will turn to in the next year is social media. In 2011, owners who reported they used social networking for business operations jumped 7 points, to 39%, as more companies joined the ranks of sites like Facebook, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), and Twitter.

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