Startups are dealing with some concerns about the economy as we begin 2016. Only 68% of small business owners and entrepreneurs said they are optimistic about the economy, according to the January SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard.

A year ago, 78% were optimistic.

It’s hard to tell exactly what accounts for the difference – stock market, consumer demand – but optimism has been trending down since May of 2015.The positive is that slightly more than half of small businesses have cash on hand to put to good use in 2016. For startups, that number could be slightly less,

The positive is that slightly more than half of small businesses have cash on hand to put to good use in 2016. For startups, that number could be slightly less, however, they also tell us they’re seeing promising growth.According to our survey, 52% say they are growing or planning to grow larger.

According to our survey, 52% say they are growing or planning to grow larger.Only 11% plan to reduce

Only 11% plan to reduce size to cut costs.

New Initiatives

Startups also expressed interest in a variety of new initiatives.

They want to diversify their businesses, branching out and selling to new industries. They also want to educate themselves and their employees.

And many said they want to get involved in helping their communities as well, an encouraging sign that not only is their business growing, but they’re using that growth to help people.

Andy Roe is the General Manager of SurePayroll, Inc., a Paychex Company. SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. SurePayroll compiles data from small businesses nationwide through its Small Business Scorecard optimism survey, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation’s “micro businesses” — those with1-10 employees. You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndrewSRoe.