In the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey, small business owners “optimism”–based on expectations for their finances and hiring–ticked up a bit in the second quarter of 2016 to +68, approaching the last high water mark of +71 in first quarter 2015.

Other key findings:

  • 60% rated their cash flow over the past 12 months “somewhat good” or “very good,” compared with 55% in the second quarter.
  • 14% said that finding customers is their top problem, followed by the economy at 12%, and staff hiring and retention at 11%.
  • 87% said they are following the election closely but only 33% said the candidates are discussing the images of most importance to them as small business owners.