Discover Survey Reveals Small Business Optimism for Spring
Small business owners are shaking off the winter doldrums, according to new research released by credit card issuer, Discover Card. The Discover Small Business Watch index rose 10.3 points from March, to 85.1 in April. The index measures relative confidence in the economy among small business owners with five or fewer employees.

More than half of those surveyed said they're optimistic due to improved economic conditions. 23% of surveyed business owners said they intend to increase spending over the next few months. The survey results coincide with modest easing in the business credit card market, as banks make more funds available to small business owners.

Discover's researchers also noticed the increasing importance of online social media tools for small business owners. Nearly half of the survey respondents use Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn to promote their businesses, surpassing Chamber of Commerce meetings and other live events on a ranked list of lead generation tools. Only local, in-person networking groups outranked social media as a preferred method of finding new customers.

About the Author

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.