Small business owners arefeeling better about the direction of the economy.

That's the conclusion drawn from a survey conducted by Bank ofAmerica of 1,001 small business owners with annual revenue between$100,000 and $5 million.

Two years ago, a similar survey showed that only 45 percent ofsmall business owners believedtheir local economy would improve in the next year. A year ago, 50percent predicted area growth. But this year, a solid majority — 62percent — were optimistic about the local economic outlook.

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