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More small and medium-size business owners optimistic, ready to hire, PNC survey finds

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Small businesses have gotten a surge of optimism, one that may lead to more hiring in the coming months.

That's the finding of a survey of 1,100 small and medium-size business owners and executives released Wednesday by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The survey taken in January and February finds that 37 percent of owners are optimistic about their companies' prospects for the next six months, up sharply from 22 percent in a survey last fall. That has fueled companies' hiring plans. Twenty-two percent plan to hire full-time workers, compared to 16 percent in in the fall.

And their workers will likely get a raise. Nearly a third of the owners and executives surveyed plan to boost employees' pay, up from 22 percent who planned raises in the fall.

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