The small business sector is estimated to account for about half of the country's overall GDP, so the results of a recent survey bring good news for a lot of people.
According to the Small Business Optimism Index produced by National Federation of Independent Businesses, small business owners are at their most optimistic point since before the recession.
The advocacy group's index rose 2.3 points to 100.4 for the month of December, its highest level since October 2006. The report also found that 17 percent of small businesses plan to increase wages in the next three months.
Small business owners cited the prospect for stronger sales and the ability to expand as several factors that attributed to positive outlook.
"The gain in December was broad-based, with 8 components advancing, one unchanged and one declining by just 1 percentage point," the report said. The only component to post a decline was the expected business condition in six months, which dropped slightly due to strong gains in November.
There were some bleak spots in the report, however, especially surrounding the pool of potential SMB employees. The report found that 54 percent of SMBs were hiring or trying to hire, but that 43 percent found few or no qualified applicants for the vacant positions.