One of the professors at Booth writes a pretty good macroeconomics blog. Macroblog is overseen by David Altig. Recently they published a post on the optimism of small businesses.
The interesting part of the survey was that newer firms were the most optimistic. Here is a quote, but click the link and read the whole thing.
One of the more interesting findings in our survey was that young firms (which we define as any firm less than seven years old) in the Q4 survey were found to be far more optimistic about future business conditions than their mature (seven years or older) counterparts. Young firms were more likely to indicate they were seeking credit to expand their business. Also, significantly larger net percents of young firms anticipate increases to employees, sales, and capital expenditures over the next six to 12 months. In fact, none of the young firms indicated they anticipated decreases to the number of employees in their firm over the next six to 12 months.