Iowa's small businesses are taking a cautious approach to hiring in 2011 as they slowly recover from the recession, a University of Northern Iowa survey indicates.
The survey of 459 small businesses found that 32 percent of small-business owners plan to hire staff in 2011.
Businesses were focused on ramping up their advertising and marketing efforts in order to improve sales. The number of small businesses with declining or unchanged sales improved from 72 percent in the last half of 2009 to 55 percent in 2010.
In the year ahead, 32 percent reported that they plan to hire staff, and 50 percent are planning to make capital investments.
A majority, or 71 percent, said they think that Iowa's economy is improving, and 78 percent indicated they consider Iowa a good place to start a business.
Support for local businesses within communities remained a sore spot. More than half of the small-business owners (58 percent) indicated local support for entrepreneurs had not improved in the previous year.
Businesses that were asked about their assistance needs mentioned financing assistance more often than any other issue (44 percent).