SurePayroll's Small Business Scorecard has learned that mom and pop companies are down in the dumps.

The Scorecard, which tracks the health of the nation's small business economy, found that only 33 percent of surveyed business owners reported feeling optimistic in September. That's way down from 67 percent in June and 48 percent in August.  

Another key finding? Business owners lack confidence in the government's ability to stimulate the economy.

Other findings:

  • 20 percent were more optimistic after President Obama's speech last month. 40 percent were more pessimistic.
  • 30 percent felt Obama's American Jobs Act would increase jobs.
  • 10 percent said they would hire additional workers if the Act was enacted.

SurePayroll, which provides payroll services for tens of thousands of small companies nationwide, also peeked in on small businesses wage and hiring trends for metro areas around the country. It found the following:

Metro Area September Staffing changes

Paycheck Size changes

Chicago   +1.0 %   -2.2 %
Cincinnati   -10.5 %   -2.3 %
Columbus   +1.0 %   -7.8 %
Minneapolis    -2.5 %   +3.0
Indianapolis    -2.5 %  -10.80 %
Cleveland    -6.8 %    -5.4

 In Minneapolis, the findings show that job growth isn't rising, but that paychecks are, slightly. No one's getting rich on a 3 percent bump in pay, but it's a start.


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