There's 'huge potential for growth.'

WASHINGTON, DC — Many small business owners are expecting revenue growth and looking to hire despite harboring concerns about the health of the national economy, according to the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index.

Based on telephone interviews with 1,000 small business owners and operators, the survey found that nearly a third plan to hire more employees and 60 percent expect revenue to increase in the year ahead. Only 6 percent plan to reduce their staff size and 9 percent are forecasting a decrease in revenue.

"Our Index revealed that there is a huge potential for growth on Main Streets across the country," said Suzanne Clark, senior executive vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Not only are small businesses looking to add employees, but they’re optimistic about growing their revenue and investing back in their companies."

The majority of respondents (61 percent) rated the health of their small business as good or very good, with confidence increasing with the size of the company. More than 40 percent graded their local economy positively. But only 33 percent believe the U.S. economy is in somewhat or very good health, with 25 percent saying that the economy is in poor or somewhat poor health.

This first edition of the Index produced an overall score of 60.6 (on a scale of 0 to 100), which indicates that 60.6 percent of small business owners currently have a positive outlook for their company and the environment in which they operate.

Read more from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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