Small business owners headed into the holiday season with the most optimistic attitudes they've enjoyed for some time, according to the latest edition of the Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index enjoyed a three point bounce, rising to 87.2 points in November, an eleven point gain from the same period a year ago.

Discover spokesperson Ryan Scully told reporters that retailers and consumer goods manufacturers have prepared for a profitable holiday season, despite lingering doubts about the overall state of the economy. Direct-to-consumer business owners reported the survey's second highest confidence levels since the index was established in 2006. Small business owners concerned about cash flow dropped to 43%, ten percentage points lower than the monthly survey's all time high.

19% of small business owners surveyed expect more business this year than last, more than double the percentage during the start of the economic downturn in 2008. Half of the respondents told researchers that they believe the economy will stay the same or get better in coming months, while the percentage of small business owners preparing for a worse economy has dropped to 46%.

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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.