San Francisco (Feb. 25, 2004) -- Things are looking up according to California small business owners -- 72 percent expect 2004 to be a better year overall than 2003, according to an annual statewide survey.

The survey, conducted by Union Bank of California N.A, reported that 37 percent of respondents anticipate their staffing levels increasing in 2004, and only 10 percent of respondents laid off workers in 2003. Participants cited the top advantages of owning a business in the state as opportunities for growth (26 percent); family ties (22 percent); and the climate (16 percent).

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