SurePayroll Inc., a provider of online payroll services to small businesses, has found that optimism among small business owners has fallen to 59 percent, after being as high as 72 percent in the prior month, amid concerns about health care reform and the government shutdown.

Month-over-month hiring was flat in September and the average paycheck was down 0.4 percent, according to the September 2013 edition of the SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard.

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