A new report from Small Business Administration shows small business owners are seeing positive marketplace signals. With cautious optimism, entrepreneurs continue to judiciously evaluate costs and seek viable, efficient solutions for their businesses. Swift early sales of the initial allocation of Transit Connect vehicles arriving at Ford dealerships nationwide provide additional evidence that small business owners are anxious to invest in a useful tool to help them work smarter, more efficiently and more effectively.

The Quarterly Indicators newsletter, released by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy on Aug. 12, 2009, reports that small business owners are seeing some economic light at the hopeful end of the tunnel. For the second quarter of 2009, small business owners and the public were increasingly optimistic.

The National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) optimism index and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey both show positive trending. The NFIB optimism index is up by 6.9 percent, and the number of entrepreneurs responding that "now is a good time to expand" is up by 3 percent. As expansion objectives are somewhat tempered by bleak retail sales across business categories, small business owners continue to seek smart solutions to improve efficiency and control costs.

A demonstration of this gathering optimism is the NFIB finding of 9 percent of small business owners planning to add staff within the next three months.

Rising consumer optimism is up 13.5 percent in the latest University of Michigan findings.

With Transit Connect vehicles just beginning to arrive at Ford dealerships nationwide, small business owners are reacting positively and decisively to this versatile and fuel-efficient business tool. An EPA rating of 22 city/25 highway miles per gallon - combined with the payload capacity of a full-size half-ton pickup truck - positions the Transit Connect as a compelling alternative for busy, cost-conscious proprietors.