A report released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife suggests a majority of small business owners are optimistic about their businesses and are looking to hire.

This report marks the inaugural presentation of the chamber and MetLife's Small Business Index, an initiative announced in February. In addition to offering hiring insights, it offers participating owners' thoughts on the national economy, their local-market economies, spending on governmental requirements, and more.

The owners’ views of the national economy were mixed, with pluralities across all geographies saying it’s “about average” and 33 percent going so far as to say it’s “somewhat good” or “very good." Business owners in the South were generally more upbeat than people in other areas, with fewer percentages of respondents there viewing the national economy as “somewhat poor” or “very poor."

In comparison, respondents were more positive about their local economies, with 42 percent saying they felt their local market strength was “somewhat good” or “very good." As with the national economy, Southern respondents were less likely to say their local economy is “somewhat poor” or “very poor”.

Read more at Denver Business Journal.