Small businesses are poised to weather the economic downturn, according to a survey conducted for Intuit’s Small Business Division.

The company, which develops QuickBooks small business accounting software, found that nine out of 10 U.S. small business owners reported seeing opportunities for their businesses in the current recession and more than 75 percent expect growth.

Nearly two-thirds have survived previous downturns. Sixty-three percent name customer retention as their top priority, followed by focusing on their finances.

Seventy percent of small business owners said their personal passion drove them to start their own company and that the same passion will help them get through a downturn. Indeed, 86 percent of respondents said they remain as passionate as the day they started.

Sixty-four percent wished they could spend less time doing paperwork and invoices, and more time getting back to the business of running their business. When asked if they could hire one additional person to do any job in their business, nearly 40 percent said they would bring on administrative support, such as a bookkeeper, to help with getting organized and handling the billing.

The survey was conducted by Global Strategy Group for Intuit and sampled 751 owners of small businesses with less than 100 employees.