A poll shows that almost half of small-business employers are optimistic about economic improvement this year. This is cautious optimism, however, as the majority also expressed concern about revenue and hiring plans for the next six months.

In the poll, commissioned by Employers®, America's small business insurance specialist®, 69 percent of small business decision-makers said that concerns about the economy, growing and maintaining their business, expenses and rising fuel costs keep them up at night.

Forty-one percent expect revenue to grow this year compared to 2010 levels, and 49 percent say it will be more than six months before they begin hiring again.

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