Small businesses expect strong first quarter

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Small businesses expect positive first quarter results, with 87 percent expecting first quarter results to be the same or better than last year, according to the SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard survey for March.

However, hiring edged down 0.1 percent from the month prior and year-over-year hiring fell 0.6 percent. The average paycheck fell 0.3 percent month over month and 1.1 percent over the year.

Optimism about the small business economy remained high at 69 percent, according to the survey, almost unchanged from 70 percent in December.

“The arrow is pointing up for small businesses right now. Optimism is holding strong and there’s a belief in more positive things to come,” said SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter. “While there are some headwinds regarding health care and hiring growth, at the end of the day more of our customers are seeing better results this year.”

SurePayroll’s Scorecard compiles data from more than 40,000 small businesses and exclusively reflects the trends affecting businesses with one to 10 employees. The average business reflected has six employees.

SurePayroll Inc. provides online payroll services to small businesses. It is a subsidiary of Paychex Inc. (NASD: PAYX).


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