Nearly three quarters of small and midsize business owners active in e-commerce felt that the nation's economy was strong in 2005, and are optimistic that it will only improve over the course of 2006, according to a recent poll.
A Web-based study of 12,000 SMB owners, conducted by sales tax software vendor Avalara, found that 74 percent of those polled indicated their belief in the strength of the American economy over last year, while 72 percent responded that it would gain even more strength in 06.

With regard to their own businesses, 84 percent said that their respective companies performed better in 2005 than the prior year, while an equal number projected their businesses in 2006 would exceed the performance of 2005. Just 12 percent felt their own business did not improve in 2005.

In other survey results, some 90 percent of those polled said that the U.S. Internet-based e-commerce economy was strong in 2005, and that same number - 90 percent - anticipated that e-commerce will gain momentum in 2006.

"In part, this expected growth is coupled to a perceived growth in business and consumer confidence in the Internet - and in e-commerce," said Avalara's chairman and chief executive, Jared Vogt. "Of those respondents who are engaged in e-commerce themselves, 79 percent reported expecting that consumer's "comfort zone" - their willingness to buy online, in spite of identity theft concerns - would grow stronger in 2006 than it had been in 2005."

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