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Small business owners still cautious about hiring but generally more optimistic, surveys find

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Small business owners are keeping a cautious approach to running their companies even as they grow more optimistic.

Surveys released Tuesday by Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. found many owners still have conservative hiring plans and little appetite for loans.

Stronger revenue and cash flow are behind the optimism. In the Bank of America survey, 68 per cent of owners said they expect revenue to increase in the next 12 months.

Wells Fargo's second-quarter Small Business Index is up to 47 from the first quarter's 45, its highest level since before the 2008 financial meltdown.

Both surveys found owners willing to hire. But Robb Hilson, Bank of America's head of small business banking, says owners aren't likely to hire at the explosive pace of a decade ago.

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