Average paycheck size and cash on hand rose at small businesses in January, according to payroll service provider SurePayroll.

The January 2015 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard includes data on hiring and wages, along with survey data from small and microbusiness owners, primarily those with one to 10 employees. SurePayroll found that hiring and average paychecks were up nearly 1.0 percent combined month over month this January. Last January, they were down a combined 0.3 percent.

Small businesses polled by SurePayroll also said they have more cash on hand this year for new opportunities and unforeseen expenses than they did one year ago, and are primed to grow. Fifty-two percent said they have extra cash on hand compared to 45 percent a year ago, while 61 percent said they are growing or planning to grow larger.

In addition, 48 percent of the small businesses surveyed indicated they plan to hire for new positions in 2015, while 78 percent are optimistic about the economy, compared to just 65 percent in January of last year.

"We're seeing a lot of positive indicators right now,” said SurePayroll general manager Andy Roe in a statement. “Having cash available is one of the most important things to a small business owner, so to see they have more now than they did a year ago is a big deal. For most of last year, small business owners were telling us they were becoming more and more profitable. We're seeing the fruits of that now."

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