Compared with the fall of 2012, more small business owners are optimistic this year that the national economy will grow stronger. Yet, according to research recently released by the Hartford, more of them rate their risk-taking as conservative, despite even more hope regarding local economies.

The Hartford reports that, of the 2,000 owners of for-profit businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees surveyed, 48% are optimistic the national economy with strengthen this year, up from 33% last year. In their area markets, small business owners expect even faster growth: 48% feel more optimistic about their local economy in the next six months than the national economy, versus 22% for the reverse.

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