from US Bank

Rochester, MN  (KROC-AM News) - Small business owners in Minnesota who took part in a recent survey have shown more optimism about the nation’s economic outlook than others around the country.

They also feel Minnesota’s economy is as strong or stronger than national conditions. The 6th annual U.S. Bank Small Business Survey polled 3,200 small businesses in the 25 states where the bank operates, including 200 in Minnesota.

Despite the optimism, the survey found many of the owners remain cautious when making significant investments in their business.

"We’re seeing a number of positive signs for small business in the Rochester area,” said John Caldwell, commercial and small business banking manager for U.S. Bank in Rochester. “With more development in preparation for Destination Medical Center, many of the construction trades are increasing their activity levels back to pre-recession numbers. Also, with unemployment at record low figures in Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota, small businesses are working harder to find staff to help them fill open positions and fulfill their increased level of demand for their goods or services. We're also seeing an increase in small business lending in our market over last year's numbers, and are optimistic that it will continue through the end of the year."

Economic Outlook

Three-quarters (72 percent) of Minnesota small business owners believe the national economy is in a recovery or expansion, compared to 67 percent across the country. Beyond that, 49 percent say that Minnesota’s economy is stronger than the national. The most commonly cited reason for saying so is the state’s low unemployment and high wages. Nationally, only 30 percent of small business owners described their state economy as stronger than the national.

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