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Small Business Optimism Grows Despite Stagnant Hiring, Paycheck Size Payroll-processing firm SurePayroll releases its June Small-Business Scorecard.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Small-business owners are optimistic about the next quarter, even while still mired in sluggish economic conditions, according to a new survey by payroll-processing firm SurePayroll.

More than half of the 5,000 micro-business owners, or those with an average of eight employees, surveyed for the June Small-Business Scorecard expect the third quarter of 2013 to surpass their expectations. At the same time, more than half of survey respondents plan to invest in their companies in July, August or September, primarily in the areas of marketing, technology or recruiting new staff, according to the report.

Almost three-in-four survey respondents report being optimistic about the future, up from just 45 percent in September last year, the survey finds.

Related: Small-Business Owners: Working Harder, But Optimistic

Meanwhile, small-business hiring and the average paycheck of employees and contractors each fell 0.1 percent in June from May, the report says.

"Right now, we're seeing two stories in the small-business economy: one for today, another for tomorrow," says Michael Alter, the chief executive and president of SurePayroll, in a statement. "Today things continue to be flat to slightly down, without much movement on the hiring front. However, there has been a steady trend of high optimism among small-business owners for tomorrow."

SurePayroll is owned by Rochester, N.Y.-based payroll processing firm Paychex.

Related: U.S. Small Businesses Expect Improved Sales Prospects (Infographic)

Catherine Clifford

Frequently covers crowdfunding, the sharing economy and social entrepreneurship.

Catherine Clifford is a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Catherine attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Email her at CClifford@entrepreneur.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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