A new survey indicates that small business owners’ doubt about where the economy is headed has been replaced by general optimism. The survey, conducted by M&T Bank, found that over the next six months, 39 percent of respondents expect the economy to moderately improve, 40 percent of small businesses plan to hire additional workers or increase the hours of existing workers and 54 percent of businesses plan to increase employees’ wages by 2 percent or more.
Prior to the November election, 31 percent of respondents expected the economy to deteriorate over the following six months, according to the survey; after the election 60 percent said they expected the economy to improve, with just 13 percent expecting it to decline, over the next six months.
The cost of health care and other benefits, and complying with government regulations, were cited by business owners as leading their list of biggest challenges moving forward.
Based in Buffalo, M&T Bank has been growing its presence in Connecticut over the past couple of years; it currently employs about 80 people in the state.