Three recent surveys of small business owners find that, while they are generally optimistic about the future in many respects, they still have a number of serious concerns.

The most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index report noted that the index, which hit 71 last quarter, declined to 64 this quarter. Both scores are below pre-recession levels. The report noted, "Small business owners' optimism appears to be tempered in the current quarter by owners' perceptions of declining revenues and a slight uptick in their perceived difficulty of obtaining credit. The reports of declining revenues suggest that the downtick in owners' overall attitudes, more than merely reflecting general attitudes abut the U.S. economic environment, appears to indicate an actual negative turn in their business performance."

In terms of revenue, less than half (42 percent) of owners in the Wells Fargo/Gallup survey this quarter said their revenues have increased "a lot" or "a little" within the last 12 months. This is down from 49 percent reporting the same last quarter.

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