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Survey: Small business owners are shifting from survival to growth


New York City -- Survey results released Thursday showed that, for the first time since 2006, small business owners are shifting their focuses from just surviving to plotting growth.

According to the 2011 American Express OPEN Spring Small Business Monitor, entrepreneurs say they are expecting to hire and make necessary capital investments in their firms, signaling signs of an economic recovery.

The semi-annual survey revealed that 35% of small business owners have plans to hire, up nine percentage points from last fall and the highest level since the fall 2008 survey.

Four-in-10 (44%) plan to make capital investments, compared with 48% last spring and 38% last fall. And 37% said they expect to grow, and 56% are willing to take a financial risk to do so.

Nearly half use social media tools to promote their business to new customers (44%, up from 39% six months ago). The one cause for concern among small business owners is cash flow, as 66% said concerns are at an all-time survey high (up from 60% last spring and 53% last fall).

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