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Officials: Brookhaven business owners optimistic

A survey of 129 small-business owners in the Town of Brookhaven released Monday indicates a cautious optimism is emerging.

The first Small Business Advisory Council survey, conducted in October, found 42 percent of small-business owners surveyed anticipated hiring new staff in 2011, as 8 percent anticipated layoffs in the next six to 12 months.

Forty-nine percent expected to have increased revenue from 2009 to 2010 and about 46 percent said they plan to expand their businesses in 2011.

“The country’s economic downturn has hit our region, but there are some bright spots - especially the fact that 84 percent of the respondents believe Brookhaven is a good place to do business,” town Supervisor Mark Lesko said in a news release Monday. “By all indications, these small businesses have a positive outlook about the future of business in Brookhaven.”

Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce president Barbara Ransome said the findings are a sign of hope in the economy’s future growth.

“In one breath they’re saying the economy’s not the best but on the other they’re going to expand,” she said. “That sounds very promising.”

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